July 13, 2003
Tifton- The Tifton Stars left for the 16 and under AAU national basketball tournament 9 days ago with a long, grueling 955 mile trip to Houston, Texas ahead of them. Sunday they returned with a third place trophy and a huge sense of accomplishment.
The Stars pulled back into town shortly after 4:30 Sunday afternoon and waiting for them at the Tift County Neighborhood Service Center were family members and a table full of food. Donnie Hester has been head coach of the Stars for the past five years, but this is the furthest any of his teams have gone.
While in Houston, the Stars went 6 and 1 and made it to the final four. The 12 member team, which consists of players from Tift County, Worth County and Randolph-Clay high schools, dedicated every one of their games to Dorothene Taylor.
Taylor, the mother of Ernest Taylor---a player on the Stars, is battling breast cancer and was extremely proud of how her son and the rest of the Tifton Stars performed in Houston.
"Each day at home our prayers went up for them so that they would continue to do (well). And they are a good group of kids, and that made even more worthwhile you know that those kids would come together in the end to perform," Taylor said. "We came in third, we should've won first, but I'm proud of them. For a bunch of guys to go out like that and stick together for nine days like that and come back in third place in the nation," Hester said.
Dorothene Taylor is also the mother of Dameca Taylor, who has been selected to be apart of Your Dream Wedding on WALB.
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