A second Ballarat Rush player will head abroad for the upcoming American college basketball season.
Ballarat born-and-bred Laura Taylor will head to the USA on a 2-year junior college scholarship at Northwest Florida State College.
Taylor, 18, said she can't wait to take the next step of her career but added it was not an easy decision to make.
WATCH LAURA SPEAK ABOUT THE NEXT STEP OF HER BASKETBALL CAREER:
"I'm so excited to go over to college and play college basketball," she said.
"I've been thinking about it for a really long time but I didn't make the decision until after making the Victorian Under 20s team."
The wing said she is hoping her time in America will help her grow as a player.
"I think it's going to help me, going to a new team and a new environment and bringing what I've learnt in the NBL1 and youth league. It's a different style of play, different physicality and a different way of thinking over there so it'll be amazing."
Taylor has played a large role for the Rush in the 2019 NBL1 season, starting in 16 of the side's 18 games while averaging 7.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and connecting on 34 per cent of her three-pointers.
Often tasked with guarding the opposition's best wing player, Taylor praised Rush coach Eric Hayes and her teammates for having faith in her and helping her to succeed.
"To have Eric Hayes and my team behind me and support me while I'm up against Nat Hurst, Kelly Wilson and Tessa Lavey is a huge thing for me."
Having always lived with her family in Ballarat, Taylor is preparing for a big change when she arrives at her new home.
"It'll be strange, it'll be really weird," she laughed.
"I've been here for a while but it'll be a good experience to grow up a bit and be away from my family and be independent. Where I'm going is a pretty similar size to Ballarat so I think that'll help."
Heading to the tropical climate of coastal Florida, Taylor said the cold is one thing she won't miss about Ballarat.
"I do prefer a warmer climate - I won't miss the cold morning trainings - but I just wanted to pick the college that was best suited to me."
Following her two years with the Raiders, Taylor is hoping to transfer to a division 1 college basketball program. She said her ultimate goal is to play basketball professionally in the WNBA, WNBL or elsewhere.
Taylor will leave for Florida in August after the culmination of the Rush's NBL1 season. The Rush were eliminated from finals contention at the weekend despite beating the Hobart Huskies.
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