Schippers leads on and off the court

BRENDAN KING | Staff Reporter Schippers1

Thirteen seconds remained in the Big East Conference women’s basketball contest between the Providence Friars and the Butler Bulldogs. The score was tied 69-69 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Butler junior guard Taylor Schippers took a pass from teammate Lexus Murry and launched a deep 3-point attempt. The shot fell, and it would serve as the game-winning bucket.

This is just one example of Schippers’ impact at Butler since transferring from Oklahoma State before the 2012-2013 season.

In nearly two seasons at Butler, Schippers has scored 649 points, including 256 in 23 games this season. Among her career points are 85 3-point baskets.

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Schippers played numerous sports. But she said she knew basketball would be the sport she would stick with.

“I’ve played since I was five years old,” Schippers said. “I played soccer and volleyball, but once I got to high school I narrowed it down quite a bit. You need to really focus on one sport if you want to play in college.”

Before she became a Bulldog, Schippers was a four-time All-State selection at Concordia Lutheran High School and finished her high school career with 2,935 points. Schippers started as a freshman, and by her senior season, she was averaging 26 points per game.

“We made it to (the) state (championship) all four years,” Schippers said. “We didn’t get the win, but it was a lot of fun.”

Schippers then decided to attend Oklahoma State University. She played there for one season, participating in 33 games and averaging three points per contest.

Ultimately, when Schippers decided to transfer from Oklahoma State, she said Butler’s coaching staff stood out from the rest.

“I liked the atmosphere that we have as a school,” Schippers said. “Coach (Beth) Couture reminded me a lot of my coach from OSU. She has always had my back and she has been there for me through ups and downs.”

After transferring from a Big 12 Conference school, then entering the Atlantic 10 Conference and now the Big East with Butler, Schippers said her time in the Big 12 gives her an advantage.

“The Big 12 is by far the best conference in the country. The girls playing there are huge,” Schippers said. “I felt like I was ready for the Big East. I had an advantage in experience and just knowing what it was like to play in a bigger conference.”

Schippers has stepped into a leadership role with the team, which has three juniors and two seniors.

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“I’ve played point guard all my life, so I have always taken the leadership role,” Schippers said. “Everyone has a different way to lead. I’d say I lead by example rather than vocally. I’m always in the gym going hard.”

Freshman guard Ashton Feldhaus said Schippers played a large role in her recruiting process and is now one of her best friends and inspirations on and off the court.

“I got to know her before I even came to Butler,” Feldhaus said. “Taylor would text me often just to check in on me and see if I needed anything.”

In addition to having a Southern accent, both Schippers and Feldhaus have a similar style of play. Both are threats to shoot from beyond the arc, as each averages about three 3-point attempts per game.

“Taylor always has something positive to say to me,” Feldhaus said. “She can tell when I’m getting frustrated, and she’s so good at talking me through things. Taylor and I have gotten really close since I’ve been at Butler, so it’s so fun watching her play.”

Schippers said she has always had her family’s support in her efforts. She calls her father her biggest inspiration, but she also looks up to a well-known National Basketball Association athlete.

“I look up to Kobe Bryant because his work ethic is crazy,” Schippers said. “You can say whatever you want about him, but he puts so much work into the game, and that’s why he’s so good.”

Next year, Schippers will be entering her senior season. As that comes closer, so do opportunities to play basketball after college. She said she is looking to play after she gets her Butler diploma.

“I have been thinking about it a lot lately as it is coming closer,” Schippers said. “I’m planning on going to play overseas somewhere like Australia, Spain or England.”

Until that day comes, however, Schippers said she is aiming to put the Bulldogs in contention for a Big East championship.

“The goal for the rest of the season is to win the Big East Tournament, (and) then it just keeps going from there,” Schippers said.

Feldhaus said Schippers knows how to spark the team, whether with a game-winning 3-point shot or her general attitude.

“Taylor is the most competitive player when we step on the court,” Feldhaus said. “She has a want-to-win attitude, so when we see Taylor get fired up, it gets everybody going.”