ANDERSON — For the past few weeks, Troy Taylor has spent a lot of time working out with Gary McGhee.
And the two former high school rivals make an odd pair on the basketball court.
McGhee was well-established as a Highland junior when Taylor first emerged on the local hoops scene as a freshman at Anderson in the fall of 2005. McGhee took The Herald Bulletin Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors in 2007, and Taylor followed with back-to-back awards in 2008 and 2009.
On the surface, the two share little else in common.
The former Scots center, who played at the University of Pittsburgh before beginning a professional career overseas, stands 6-foot-10 and is listed at 250 pounds. Taylor, who finished his career at the University of Evansville in March, is 10 inches shorter and 66 pounds lighter.
But that doesn’t stop Taylor from playing defense against McGhee in the post during their 1-on-1 practice sessions.
“I’m not as big as he is,” Taylor said. “But I try to push him around and be physical, like someone who would guard him at the next level.”
And therein lies the reason for this pairing.
As mismatched as the Scots’ big man and the Indians’ guard might seem at first glance, they share an unbreakable bond.
Both men believe they will one day play in the NBA, and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make that dream a reality.
For Taylor, these days, that means working on his game 12 to 14 hours a day. When he’s not muscling up against McGhee, he often can be found in a pick-up game with Anderson High School assistant coach Jovan McGraw and anyone else competitive enough to take the floor.
“It’s old fashioned Anderson High School basketball,” Taylor said, comparing the impromptu games to the battles he waged during his summer days with the Indians. “It’s a rugged style. We really don’t call any fouls.”