This summer has probably been the most stressful to date for Taylor Goligoski. The Hamilton native was hoping to have made a verbal commitment to a college basketball program much earlier than this week, but now she's glad she waited. Goligoski was officially offered a scholarship by Montana's Robin Selvig on Tuesday to become a member of the Lady Griz.
“I didn’t really expect the phone call I got yesterday from Robin and so I kind of just took the day yesterday and this morning to kind of think it over and I knew that it was the right choice.”
Taylor Goligoski has always dreamed of becoming a Lady Griz basketball player, but now the Hamilton standout gets to pursue another dream as well. When she wraps her hoops season in the spring, she will immediately pick up her cleats and walk-on to the Montana Grizzly softball program.
“I’m really excited because not very many people get that opportunity,” she said. “Usually you have to pick one or the other but I just wasn’t ready to give up softball yet. I’ve played since I was young and I still love basketball and softball pretty much the same.”
Taylor, named Gatorade Player of the Year for basketball her sophomore season, isn't the first member of her family to represent Hamilton as a Division-1 athlete. Her father, and current Broncs softball head coach, Jason Goligoski played baseball for Washington State followed by six years spent playing minor league baseball before he returned to his hometown.
“Her first love is basketball but I don’t think she’s ready to give up softball 100%,” said Jason. “I don’t know if that’s just having a dad that played ball or whatever. It’s her career, her future and I’ll just be there to support her.”
Taylor says getting the chance to sport Maroon and Silver as a collegiate athlete has been her goal for a long time.
“They’re one of the best teams in the Big Sky conference and they’ve won the conference a few times, made it to the NCAA tournament, and I think that would be a cool experience,” she said. “I wanted to stay as close as I could near my family and my friends. I love it here in Montana and I wasn’t really ready to leave yet.”
“There’s nothing better than to be able to look up in the crowd and know you have support when you’re family and friends can watch you,” said her father Jason, adding that a location near Hamilton was a major factor in his decision to play for the WSU Cougar baseball program. “I’m excited for us to be able to go up and watch her play for the next four years.”
Now that she's made her verbal commitment to Montana, Goligoski can turn her focus towards enjoying her senior year at Hamilton high school. That includes another try at winning a state basketball title after the Broncs finished runner-up to Havre last year.
“Now I can just go and play relaxed and not really have to worry about how I do,” she said. “I’m still obviously going to play hard and try my hardest but it’s a big weight off my shoulders.”