“I remember when I was younger and I told people ‘I want to be a professional basketball player and a veterinarian,'” said Emery. “They would always ask ‘How would you do that?’ and I said back ‘I don’t know, I’ll figure it out!'”
To young Taylor Emery’s credit, she did figure it out.
“After I went to a junior college, I was choosing between four different schools that had a veterinary medical program,” said Emery. ” I chose Virginia Tech because it was a great fit for me basketball-wise and it also set me up for a really good veterinary program after.”
The former Hokies guard from Tampa, Fla. always had her career post-basketball locked in focus even when she carved out a successful legacy at Cassell Coliseum. After attending Tulane University and Gulf Coast State College, Emery immediately fit into head coach Kenny Brooks‘s scheme in Blacksburg. The prolific shooter scored over 1,300 points in just two years as a Hokie and finished with All-ACC honors both years of her tenure.
“I actually majored in homeland security at Tulane,” Emery said, who spent just her freshman year with the Green Wave. “I said ‘This isn’t what I want to do” and when I transferred to Tech, I actually got my degree in Creative Writing and took my pre-reqs for vet school.”
Her time at Virginia Tech propelled her for multiple pro basketball opportunities domestically and internationally. The Minnesota Lynx invited Emery to participate in their training camp, and the guard played overseas in both Poland and Israel. Still, she wasn’t content with just a career in basketball.
“After a while, I realized it wasn’t really feeding my heart the way I thought it would,” Emery said. “It was awesome and I made a lot of friends in the process, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do when I was older.”
Emery returned to campus after being accepted into the prestigious Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. The rigorous schedule keeps her in lectures and labs for almost eight hours a day, but it’s all in the pursuit of realizing her dreams in a field she’s loved since childhood.
“I want to work in the non-profit sector and find a way to help both people and animals,” Emery said, who also spearheaded her own clothing brand “MerikiTay” while impressively balancing the life of a vet-med student. She has three and a half more years of schooling before being able to graduate from VAMC.
As far as keeping up with the current Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball team, Emery finds ways in her hectic schedule to keep in touch with the players and staff. She is constantly studying at one of the premiere veterinary schools in the country, but still speaks highly of the staff headed by Brooks.
“When I was a player we were really close because we saw each other every day. Now it’s more of an adult relationship. I don’t have to speak to the staff everyday, but when I do, they make me feel at home.”
About the Monogram Club
The Virginia Tech Monogram Club is a membership organization that seeks to honor and engage former and current letterwinners through networking and fellowship events, in order to celebrate the traditions and promote the value of the Virginia Tech student-athlete experience. We seek to reconnect with all monogram winners in all past and present sports and support area students (managers, trainers, and video staff members) at Virginia Tech and have each of these become a connected and engaged member of the Monogram Club! Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present, and Support the Future!