By Erica Morman | Contributor
"It's not just you who gets places," said senior Joe Ingersoll, a member of the Taylor men's basketball team. "It's a lot of other people joining in and helping you fulfill your dreams and mission."
Ingersoll has walked the sidewalks, hallways and gymnasium floors of Taylor's campus driven - driven to excel in classes, driven to make genuine relationships with those around him and driven to give his all each time he steps on the court.
When deciding which college to attend, Ingersoll's father always told him to choose the school first, then the sport. After visiting a few other campuses, Ingersoll settled on Taylor.
"I just knew from the moment I drove throughout campus that Taylor was the place for me," Ingersoll said. "It felt like home."
Once the decision to further his education at Taylor was made, he addressed his dream of becoming a college athlete.
After contacting Taylor men's basketball head coach Josh Andrews about a potential walk-on opportunity, Ingersoll was given permission to try out for the team. Unfortunately, he did not make the roster, yet Andrews offered him a student assistant position.
Emotion and disappointment weighed on Ingersoll's shoulders, but he decided to accept the position.
"It's hard when you dream something so big and your hope to get there is not fulfilled," Ingersoll said. "I had to quickly learn that my initial expectations of what college basketball would look like had taken a different form."
Patience, trust and humility were all attributes Ingersoll learned throughout his time as an assistant coach.
However, Ingersoll was determined to officially add his name to the playing roster, and he achieved that goal during his sophomore year. He cherished the opportunity to experience excitement, disappointment, thrill and frustration as a player rather than a coach.
"My favorite memory from the past four years has to be when we found out we were going to the national tournament (last year) in Branson, Missouri," Ingersoll said. "It was such a special moment for us as a team, but also for me because I was going as a player, not an observer."
For the past three seasons, Ingersoll has played a key role on and off the court for the Trojans. His encouragement, leadership and determination serve as an example to those around him.
According to Ingersoll, Taylor basketball has taught him the importance of team commitment.
"There's just something special about giving up your own ideals for the betterment of a group of guys and working toward something greater than yourself," Ingersoll said. "Taylor basketball has been intentional on developing us as players but also as people. It's a small-knit community crafted within the greater community."
For Ingersoll, saying goodbye to collegiate basketball will be a challenge. His Taylor basketball career of blood, sweat and tears shared among teammates, coaches, family and friends are memories he will cherish for a lifetime.
Though his collegiate basketball career has now come to a close, Ingersoll ended it on a high note by recently breaking a personal record for points in a game with 13 and being named the Taylor Athletic Department's Athlete of the Week.
As Ingersoll looks to the future, a world of possibilities arise. Although his plans after college are not completely solidified, there is one thing Ingersoll knows for certain.
"I am so thankful I have had the opportunity to be a part of this incredible program," Ingersoll said. "There's something special about realizing that everything you do on the court is no longer for you, but for those who you love. We have been extremely blessed by the dedication and support of those in the stands and on the benches. Everything we have accomplished is far greater than I could ever achieve individually. I've realized that we don't wear a Taylor jersey to represent our own selves, but those around us."