Though Brian Taylor '84 played at Princeton for just two seasons, he made a career’s worth of an impression.
In an era when freshmen were still ineligible to play, Taylor scored 1,239 points between his sophomore and junior seasons before turning pro. He returned to pursue his Princeton degree following a 10-year career in the ABA and NBA, graduating with the Class of 1984.
Playing in an era just before the Ivy League Player of the Year award was introduced, Taylor won the 1971 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and was named first-team All-Ivy in each of his two seasons.
Taylor’s point total is the most for any Princeton player other than Bill Bradley ’65 in a two-season span. Had Taylor remained another year and scored his average of his sophomore and junior seasons, he would have placed second on the Princeton scoring list behind only Bradley.
Taylor’s total currently ranks 10th on the all-time Princeton career scoring list, even though he accumulated points over only two seasons. The five players to pass Taylor on the scoring list - Kit Mueller ’91, Craig Robinson ’83, Brian Earl ’99, Bob Scrabis ’89 and Gabe Lewullis ’99 - all needed four seasons to score what Taylor did in two.
While a collegian, Taylor was the leading scorer for Team USA at the 1971 Pan-American Games in Cali, Colombia. Less than a year later, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the Associated Press and United Press International all awarded Taylor with a place on their All-America teams. Taylor was a second-team NABC All-America and third-team AP and UPI.
Following his Princeton career, Taylor was a second-round selection of the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1972 NBA Draft. Instead, Taylor chose to sign with the New York Nets of the American Basketball Association, which was one of the teams that later merged into the NBA. Taylor won the 1973 ABA Rookie of the Year award with the Nets, later helping the team to ABA titles in 1974 and 1976.
Once in the NBA, Taylor also played for the San Diego Clippers, Kansas City Kings and Denver Nuggets, piling up 7,868 points as a professional.
In his post-basketball life, Taylor, a native of Perth Amboy, N.J., relocated to Los Angeles and served as a coach and administrator at the Harvard-Westlake school before becoming the principal at View Park Preparatory school in the Crenshaw neighborhood of the city.
About Brian Taylor '84
• Scored 1,239 points in two seasons at Princeton (1970-71, 1971-72)
• 1971 Ivy League Rookie of the Year & 1973 ABA Rookie of the Year
• Team USA's leading scorer at the 1971 Pan-Am Games
• 1972 NABC second-team All-America, AP & UPI third-team All-America
• ABA All-Star in 1975 and 1976
• Two-time first-team All-Ivy League
• Played for the two-time ABA champion New York Nets in a 10-season ABA/NBA career