One can make the case that Sydney Taggart is a product of Everett Community College basketball. After all, Taggart’s parents met at Everett CC, where both played basketball for the Trojans.
Therefore, it only seems fitting that Taggart is now suiting up for Everett CC basketball herself — even if she took a roundabout route to being a Trojan.
Taggart’s arrival has played a factor in the Trojans’ blistering start to the season, and though she’s known more for her abilities on the softball field than the basketball court, Taggart is happy to be following in her family’s footsteps.
“It’s pretty cool,” Taggart said about not only playing at the same school as her parents, but playing for the same coach, Chet Hovde, who coached her mom. “Also, my parents met when my mom was playing basketball here, so that’s pretty cool, too.”
“Chet seems pretty much the same, even though it’s quite a few years between when I played and when Sydney’s playing,” added Taggart’s mom Erica, who played at Everett from 1989-91. “They have a much stronger team than when I played. It’s a lot of fun for my husband (Mike, who played at Everett in 1984-85) and I to watch and support the team.”
Taggart, who transferred to Everett after one year at Pacific Lutheran University, has played a key role for the Trojans. The 6-foot center is averaging 10.1 points per game, which is third on the team, and she’s pulling down 7.4 rebounds per contest, which ranks second. Alongside the likes of returners Uju Chibuogwu (22.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game) and Alexis Biggerstaff (18.1 points), Taggart helped Everett jump out to a 9-1 start, with the Trojans being ranked No. 3 in the first Northwest Athletic Conference Coaches Poll.
“We couldn’t have the record we have without her,” Hovde said about Taggart. “We were big, we have Uju in the middle and she’s as good as it gets. But Sydney is helping control the boards. She’s been a big bonus.”
So how did an athlete who made her name on the softball diamond — Taggart was named the Herald’s Softball Player of the Year in 2015 as a junior when she led Everett High School to a second-place finish at the 3A state tournament — end up on the basketball roster at Everett CC?
That wasn’t always the plan. When Taggart graduated from high school in 2016 she headed to PLU to play softball only for the NCAA Division III Lutes. However, before Taggart arrived on campus PLU’s softball team went through a coaching change. After one season with the Lutes in which she was used sparingly — just 25 at bats and three pitching appearances — Taggart decided it was time for a change.
“It was good, I enjoyed it,” Taggart said about her one year at PLU. “I just chose to come back home to save some money.”
When Taggart initially decided to transfer to Everett, it was only to play softball. But Taggart, who played both softball and basketball at Everett High, had been recruited by Hovde out of high school. Add in Taggart’s connections to Trojan basketball via her parents and she quickly found herself on the basketball team, too.
“I really missed playing basketball last year,” Taggart said. “I’ve played basketball my whole life. I chose to pursue softball in college, but I’ve always loved basketball as well, played varsity basketball and softball all four years in high school. I’m not just softball.”
Getting back on the basketball court has been an adjustment for Taggart. Not only hadn’t she played competitive basketball for more than a year-and-a-half, she was asked to change positions as she’s playing in the post for the Trojans after being a wing player in high school.
”After taking the year off from basketball, I think I’ve been getting more into it as the season’s gone on,” Taggart said. “I’m getting back into how I used to play.”
Taggart isn’t the only newcomer who’s contributing for the Trojans. Ashley Bierer, a Stanwood High School graduate, has helped shore up the back court. And Aloha Salem, a transfer from Centralia who just became eligible last weekend, is expected to add further perimeter offensive firepower to a team averaging 82.8 points per game. Hovde, who’s been coaching at Everett for 40 years, said this team has the potential to be his best.
As for Taggart, she said she didn’t know her plans beyond playing for Everett’s softball team in the spring. She’ll be eligible to return to Everett for another year for sports, but won’t have to come back for scholastic purposes, and she said academics will be the main driver in her decision for school next year.
But for at least one more year she’s able to enjoy being a two-sport star, and she’ll always be able to say she followed in her parents’ footsteps.
If you have an idea for a community sports story, e-mail Nick Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.