From a young age, Tayvon Moncrease has always wanted to play alongside LeBron. His friends have always said ‘he was born 6’2.’
“I was always tall and since I was in fifth grade, I’ve wanted to play basketball,” Tayvon, 15, said.
Since then, he has done nothing but basketball in New Haven. He has done everything from pickup games at a roller rink to summer leagues, basketball camps, playing countless editions of the video game, NBA 2K, and following his team, the Miami Heat, with a passion.
One of his teams in a summer league was the New York Gauchos, a team in the Amateur Athletic Union. Tayvon started playing for them mid-season. By the time playoffs came around, the Gauchos ended up powering their way to the league championship, but fell short of their goal.
“It was an interesting way to get to States,” Tayvon said. “We had to play three games to get to the championship. We had lost our first game, but we won our last two games. You only got those three games to get to the championship.”
By the time Tayvon entered high school at Amistad High School, he had much experience with the sport. He had just come off a winning season on Elm City’s varsity basketball team, however Amistad was much tougher than he had experienced because of its strict rules for behavior.
“It’s a good school, but it’s tough,” Tayvon said. “They push you to do better. It’s different.”
Tavyon still has this mentality on the basketball court. He plays for Amistad and is always trying to improve his game, every time he steps on the court. This love of basketball also runs through the family. His twin brother, Jayquan, also has the same aspiration. Tayvon also lives with his two younger sisters, Arianna and Bianca, and his mother, Kissy Galloway, a transport specialist for Yale-New Haven Hospital.
After Amistad, Tayvon has aspirations to play for one of biggest college basketball programs in the country, either at the University of Connecticut or Syracuse University.
“It’s a fun sport and the best part is if you get to the NBA,” he said. “I would be able to make a living doing something I love.”
Matthew Barry is a junior at Xavier High School, Middletown.