Friday night, arguably the greatest UCF Knights basketball player ever to take the floor gets inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame, as Jermaine Taylor (2005-2009) gets the well-deserved honor.
A local kid from Tavares, northwest of campus, Taylor was box office hit every time he stepped on a court. No UCF Basketball player had more spectacular plays in a career than he did.
“We are incredibly proud of Jermaine Taylor and congratulate him on his induction into the UCF Hall of Fame!” said former UCF Head Coach Kirk Speraw. “Jermaine was one of the most exciting, skilled, and talented players to ever put on a UCF uniform. Jermaine was not only an outstanding player, but was a tremendous ambassador for our program and University.”
Taylor scored 1,979 points during his career ,which is the most in the Division I era of UCF Basketball, and overall 3rd all-time behind fellow UCF Hall of Famers Bo Clark (2,886) and Mike Clark (2,085).
“Jermaine was the greatest scorer I have played with and it’s not even close,” said Mike O’Donnell, who played with Taylor and fed him a number of his patented alley-oops over his career.
Taylor was named Third Team All-American and won the Conference USA Player of the Year award in as a senior in 2009. He was selected to the All-C-USA First Team, NABC All-District First Team, and the USBWA All-District Team. He averaged 26.2 points, which was third-best in the nation, and set a Conference USA single-season record with 466 total points and a 29.1 points-per-game average in conference play.
“He worked tirelessely each summer to improve,” said O’Donnell. “He could effortlessly manipulate defenders at will. He was a phenomenal scorer and a wonderful teammate.”
Taylor scored a school-record 812 points during his senior season and shot 48% from the floor, including 37.6% from three-point range. You can check out our chat with Taylor from our July 6, 20217 edition of Black and Gold Banneret podcast here:
Taylor is also the highest NBA Draft pick in UCF history, when he was selected with the 32nd overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards, and shortly after was traded to the Houston Rockets.
On December 15, 2010, the Rockets traded Taylor to the Sacramento Kings for a protected second-round pick. In two NBA seasons, he averaged 5.4 points per game. He was waived by the Kings at the end of the season.
Taylor played in the D-League for seven seasons, averaging 14.4 points per game, and played all over the world over the rest of the decade. Most recently, Taylor has been playing in the Big3 league.
For more on this year’s UCF Athletics Hall of Fame Class, check out our special edition of “Knight Shift” where we discussed this year’s class and who could be possible candidates in the future.