When Flagstaff enjoyed its first snow of the season last Thursday, our team was reminded of the origin of our great game. Basketball was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts. A physical education instructor, Naismith was tasked by the head of the International YMCA Training School (now Springfield College) to come up with an indoor sport that could be played during the winter months between football and baseball seasons.

The first game of basketball was played 9 versus 9 with a soccer ball. Two peach baskets were nailed to a railing 10 feet high at each end of the gymnasium. Players could use only a pass to advance the ball since dribbling wasn't allowed. While the rules have evolved, the object of the game remains the same - put the ball in the basket. A humble beginning . . . but it all started with winter weather and that's why basketball players love snow.


Taylor Leyva is a 5'11 freshman guard from Pueblo, Colorado. Taylor was a four-year letterwinner and starter and two-year captain in basketball at Pueblo West High School. Taylor averaged 18.2 points per game as a senior while leading Pueblo West to the Colorado 4A Final Four. She is the Pueblo West High School record holder for most free-throws made and attempted in a game, most offensive rebounds in a game and most rebounds in career, season and game. Taylor's versatility is not limited to the court.

Taylor played volleyball and ran track in high school. She had a 3.98 GPA, and ranked seventh in her high school class. She was a member of the Principal's Honor Roll, National Honor Society and MECHA. And . . .Taylor was Homecoming Queen her senior year.

Taylor is the oldest daughter of Lynn and Jeff Leyva, and the big sister to Olivia, Marissa, and Maliyah. The Leyva family is a tight-knit group. The whole family (including grandparents) made the drive from Pueblo to Flagstaff this summer to drop Taylor off at school. UPDATE: Good news from Pueblo . . . littlest sister Maliyah is once again talking to Taylor. As the family was heading back to Pueblo this summer, Maliyah was informed she could not stay at NAU with Taylor which led to icy stares and the silent treatment for big sis.

After the first snow, big sister and Coloradan Taylor had some snow day survival advice for a couple of our warm weather freshmen.

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