Catching up with 2011 WBB commit Greenfield

The Bootleg's profiles of the six-woman 2011 class are back. We've talked with Amber Orrange and Alex Green already, and next up is Iowa guard Taylor Greenfield. Stay tuned as we continue to profile this historic class while the women on-campus look start their 2010 season.

"I committed about a month ago," Taylor Greenfield told The Bootleg last week. "I just called Coach VanDerveer before my official visit, and that was it."

Why did Greenfield decide to sign with Stanford?

"I finally just started thinking about it," she said. "The process was winding down and when I compared Stanford to other places, Stanford had everything I wanted. Between the academic standards and basketball, it can't really be beaten.

"At the end, it came down to Iowa State, Stanford and Texas. I grew up like 10 miles from Ames, and I've always considered Iowa State. It was in the final, final decision -- Iowa State and Stanford the day before I decided. It was hard."

Greenfield's recruitment started over a year ago, as she reports the Stanford coaching staff first saw her the summer going into her junior year, in AAU ball.

"We were at a tournament in Chicago, and I saw Coach VanDerveer. Then, after that, I started hearing from them. They made an offer at a time I could talk to them during my junior year."

While Greenfield didn't visit Texas, she did visit Stanford and those trips (and, obviously, her acceptance into the university) helped cement her college decision.

"I just liked the weather!" she said. "I went out the year before too on an unofficial visit and saw a basketball game. It was supposed to be cold, back home it was snowy, but there I'm in shorts. That was way different, and the whole entire environment, from the makeup of the student body to how unbelievably big everything was, was just different.

Still, Greenfield's glad signing day has come and gone.

"Overall, I enjoyed being recruited by colleges for awhile, but it got to the point where I was very glad when it was over."

Often, players will commit to a closer school because of family, but in this case, Greenfield reports her parents are fully on board with her making the move to the Bay Area.

"My parents are very excited," Greenfield said. "My parents said they'll make it to everything they can, will come visit, and will make it pretty easy."

For a young woman from small-town Huxley, Iowa, population 2,753, Stanford is a long way from home, and bridging that gap could be a key in her freshman-year transition. Luckily, her friends will be there to help too – and not entirely for selfless reasons.

" They think it's all pretty cool, [me signing with Stanford,] because it gives them a reason to go to California," Greenfield said.

First though, in Iowa, is Greenfield's senior season, and some lofty preseason expectations.

"We should come out first in the state for Class AAA. My freshman year, we lost in the semis, sophomore year, we won it, and last year, lost it again."

Greenfield will hope the on/off pattern for state titles continues into her senior season, as she'd be cutting down the nets come late winter. And on the court, Greenfield says it's her height and ball-handling skills have helped her and her team achieve the success they have thus far.

"I'm 6-foot-3, but I've always been a point guard, so that's helped me ever since," she said. "I've always been taller, but I can handle the ball too. My strengths are shooting the three ball and passing, definitely offensive things, not so much D."

Of course, Greenfield wouldn't have earned college scholarships if she couldn't play a little defense, and four years at Stanford will probably help her grow defensively as well. Still, Greenfield is working hard on improving her D before stepping foot on the Farm.

"I'm working most on my defense, everything about defense, and pull-up J's," Greenfield said. "I think it took me awhile to understand how important defense really was. With the caliber of players I'll be guarding when I get to college, I wish I had taken it more seriously earlier, but I have to say that's the biggest thing I'm working on."

Of course, as the NCAA loves to remind us, the vast majority of its 300,000 Division I athletes are going pro in something other than sports, and nowhere is that balance more evident than on the Farm. While Greenfield, like most of her peers at powerhouse Division I schools, does hope to play professionally after college, she also has dreams far beyond basketball.

"I really want to become a surgeon," she said. "I got interested mainly from the show "Grey's Anatomy." I find it interesting, so I took advanced biology and really enjoyed learning about it. I'd like to go to med school one day."

When she gets to the Farm, perhaps Greenfield will have the chance to talk with Krista Rappahahn, a sharpshooting guard herself during her time on the Farm, a Class of '06 alum, and a current Stanford Med student, no less. Until then, though, Greenfield reports it's the standard life of basketball, friends and family – and trying to bring one last state title home to central Iowa.

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