ORONO – The last time Taylor Schildroth was on the court in an official capacity in Maine, he was winning a state championship with George Stevens, but it’s been a long year since then.
“I just learned to push through adversity and just remember that if I’m working hard enough and keeping my head down then the right thing will happen and everything will fall in to place..
Schildroth reclassed after his senior year at George Stevens Academy and the next year or so was a roller coaster. He followed former Maine Elite coach Michael Woodbury to his new school, Nation Christian Academy, in Florida. He chose to leave the school following the release of Woodbury’s controversial comments about an international player, and transferred to Woodstock Academy in Connecticut.
With no offers on the table after his time at Woodstock, he elected to enroll as a student at UMaine in Orono, and wasn’t sure if college basketball was in his future.
“There was a point in time when I was coming back up here that I thought ‘I guess it might not happen,’ might just go to school and see what happens, and I was kind of okay with it, and after a month or two of not playing I was like ‘yeah, no, I’m going to start working out again,” said Schildroth.
For a period of time after enrolling, Schildroth said he thought he would have to try out for the UMaine basketball team to have a chance of playing, but in the first week of July, talks advanced between him and head coach Richard Barron and he earned a walk-on roster spot.
“Last week everything came together, and moved really fast, I’m definitely extremely blessed and humbled that Coach Barron and the rest of the staff were able to give me the opportunity, especially in the summer to get to know the guys and get flowing with the system and everything,” said Schildroth.
The UMaine program is no stranger to guys with unique basketball journeys, but for Schildroth to have the turbulent prep year he did gives him a special view, “I think this past year was an eye opening experience, he might call it humbling, but I think he comes in with a different perspective than if he had just come straight from George Stevens,” said Barron.
With the prep year in the past, Schildroth is focused on success for the Black Bears, “my goal would be eventually to play and I think the goal for every one that comes here is to hopefully be the first team to crack an NCAA tournament [bid]…”