- Name: Taylor Rochestie
- Age: 29
- Job Title: Basketball Player
- Job Description: European Pro Athlete
- Location: Russia
Tell me about the path that led you to where you are today.
Since the age of about 5 I have loved the game of basketball. Always wanting to be like my brother Alex, I would do whatever he did and started playing sports with older kids at a young age. As my athletic abilities grew I played AAU basketball, high school ball, then eventually played in college at Washington State. From there I went through the process of picking an agent, and grew this young passion for sports into a career.
How did you come to the realization that this is something you wanted to pursue as a career?
Most kids at the age of 10 have great fantasies about the people they will become, whether it’s a superhero or a tax accountant. Ever since I could remember I wanted to be a pro basketball player, and I have known it inside me my whole life. In 6th grade I was asked on film what I think I will be doing in 5 years and 10 years. “In 5 years I’ll be playing college basketball, and in 10 years I will be playing pro basketball in Australia or Europe,” I said. Well I haven’t played for a team in Australia yet, although I have been there and played against their top teams, but I have been playing in the European game now for the last 6 years.
The daily routine is not as sexy as most people make out my job to be. Most fans, friends, and family watch the games on TV, see the highlights, or read the articles about the games. The reality is practice, practice, and more practice. When I am not practicing, the most important thing I can do for myself and my body is relax. I hate to admit it but I watch a lot of TV shows, and I love movies. It’s a perfect combination of work hard, rest hard. A big part of my day to day is also traveling. Many bus rides, flights, nights in hotels, and playing in different arenas all over Europe. It feels like I have seen almost every airport, decent hotel, and gym in Europe.
What is the best part of your job? What excites you the most? What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
There are too many things to write here. I love knowing that I love my job. I am so appreciative and blessed that I can do what I love and make a career out of it. All my life I have ben asked: “What will you do when basketball doesn’t work out?” Well so far it has, and I thank God everyday for the opportunity He has blessed me with. I love playing games. Those 40 minutes makes all the training and traveling worth it. I love being on a team, and the support and love coming from the fans and the community. I love being able to provide happiness, entertainment, and passion to the fans and lovers of the game of basketball.
I have been making sacrifices since around the 6th grade. While my friends were having fun on the weekends, I was competing in tournaments all over California with my AAU team. I have missed so many birthdays, weddings, vacations, and normal day-to-day things. Doesn’t matter how much I love this game; it is still hard to be away from family and friends, especially during special events. Since high school, 10 years ago, I have spent roughly a year in Santa Barbara, my home — about an average of a month a year at home in 10 years. Living in Europe for the last 6 years is not the most accessible place for friends and family to come stop by for dinner or a movie.
Did you make any mistakes along the way that you think could have been avoided? What would you have done differently (if anything) to ensure a faster path to where you are today?
I’m sure I have made many mistakes all of my life — from getting in trouble all the time in school to taking bad shots on the court. Luckily, I am too happy and too blessed to focus on mistakes or even categorize them as mistakes. I have been living my life to the fullest, and I am happy where I am, and where I have been. Glad I didn’t listen to all the people that told me I was too small to play basketball.
I love hearing from friends that they have a tough timeline at work and that their boss doesn’t appreciate them so much. I literally get yelled at, and cussed out in every language I can think of. Every mistake I make I am literally punished for it, and it is broadcasted on TV. Got to enjoy all the moments. Highs and lows. Enjoy the process so you can church the end result.
If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
Not so creative but I guess the ability to fly. Kind of like Iron Man. No more commercial planes, and no more traffic.
What is one question you want the next interviewee on People With Cool Jobs to answer?
Do you have an individual person or event in your life that pushed you to become who you are or what you are? Who has always being in your corner to support your dreams?
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