Former La Vergne, VCU player Taylor dies

Jan 05, 2023 at 12:11 pm by WGNS

Former La Vergne basketball standout Willie Taylor, who scored more 1,300 points in three seasons at VCU, has died at the age of 42. VCU ATHLETICS

VCU Athletic Communications

RICHMOND, Va. – Former La Vergne High School and VCU basketball standout Willie Taylor died unexpectedly at the age of 42 on Dec. 31.


A 6-foot-6 native of La Vergne, Taylor poured in more than 1,300 points in just three seasons in a VCU uniform from 2000-03. He earned a pair of All-Colonial Athletic Association honors, including a First Team citation in 2002-03 when he averaged 17.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, while shooting .413 (59-of-143) from 3-point range.

He played his high school basketball at La Vergne from 1997-1999.

Taylor, who transferred to VCU in 2000 following one season at Georgetown, averaged 15.7 points in 87 games for the Black and Gold, which ranks sixth on the program's career list. His 1,367 points sit 21st all-time at VCU.

His arrival sparked a revival in the VCU program. He led the Rams to a 16-14 mark in 2000-01, which kicked off a streak of 22 straight winning seasons that is active to this day. As a junior, Taylor averaged a team-high 17.1 points per game to spur VCU to a 21-11 mark, the program's first 20-win campaign in six years.