Taylor Hill Celebrated for 1,000th Point with Commemorative Basketball
Valley Echo Staff
14 May 2020
On February 13, junior Taylor Hill scored her 1,000th point as a Hornet in a home game against West Milford. Varsity Girls Basketball Coach Marc Salvatore originally planned to honor this incredible achievement at the end-of-year Basketball Dinner. When this was cancelled due the recent health-related closures, Coach Salvatore got creative.
Coach Salvatore ordered a commemorative basketball with Hill's picture and her accomplishments printed on it in March. By the time it arrived in the Business Office, school had been closed in accordance with social distancing guidelines and extra-curricular activities were cancelled. However, Coach Salvatore came up with an alternate plan. He quickly contacted Hill's mother, Supervisor of Athletics, Health/PE, and Activities Mr. Joseph Benvenuti, and the team to let them know about what he wanted to do.
Mr. Benvenuti picked up the ball from Passaic Valley, boxed it, and delivered it to Hill's house. Coach Salvatore told Hill that the box contained locker room materials. As a returning captain next year, she would open the box in front of the team and they all would vote on what materials they wanted to keep for the 2020-2021 season. The rest of the team played along and joined a Zoom call to celebrate under the guise of catching up as a team.
"I was completely surprised and grateful as I opened the box," said Hill. "I was assuming it was pictures, quotes, or maybe numbers/signs for our lockers. I am so beyond appreciative for all Coach Salvatore has done to make this so special."
Scoring 1,000 points is an amazing achievement for a student athlete. Hill is among ten other Hornets to reach this milestone and four Girls Basketball players in the 50-year history of the team. What makes it more incredible is the fact that Hill still has one year left. "Taylor Hill is a great leader by example and an even better teammate. How she interacts with all her teammates and how hard she works during practices and prepares herself during the season is tremendous," said Coach Salvatore. "She is one of the best players I have coached in any sport. If you haven't watched Taylor Hill play, please come out next year and watch one of the best athletes to come through Passaic Valley."
Despite her amazing talent, Hill is incredibly humble. Rather than talk about her own achievement, she would rather focus on the senior members the team will be losing next year and what comes next for the team. "It is definitely a great feeling to have accomplished this, but we celebrated it and now the bar is raised," said Taylor. "The milestone makes me work harder and push more to achieve even bigger goals."
Taylor Hill's current point total stands at 1,115 points. More will undoubtedly be added in her senior season. As a captain, she sets an example for the young core of the team, who look to her as a model to aspire to. "To the younger athletes, never settle. Keep pushing yourself by putting in the extra work, by taking another shot, by running another sprint because it will pay off," Hill said. "I wish the best for all of you and love you all. Thank you guys for everything!"