Flying Queen Hazel Taylor honored by NAIA Hall of Fame

PLAINVIEW — Hazel Laura Taylor, whose 24.5 points-per-game career scoring average remains a Wayland Flying Queens record, was announced as an honoree for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.

The selection of the cat-quick 5-foot-10 forward from Trinidad and Tobago was announced during NAIA Awards Day on Friday, Sept. 15. She is among eight athletes named to the 2022-2023 NAIA Hall of Fame class. To read the NAIA announcement go to

“I am honored to be selected to the NAIA Hall of Fame,” Taylor said. “Wayland was a tremendous basketball program that I really enjoyed playing for. There was great leadership from the coaches and my teammates. I would like to thank Wayland for giving me the opportunity to play basketball and get a degree.”

Often described as one of the most talented players in the storied history of the Wayland Flying Queens, Taylor came within 16 points of becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer. Had she played just one more game, she likely would have become the all-time scoring leader. She ended her stellar three years at Wayland with 2,446 points, just 15 points behind Sharla Harrison.

As she played from 1996 to 1999, her Flying Queens teams posted 79 victories and won more than 75 percent of their contests. The Flying Queens teams on which she played advanced to the NAIA National Tournament all three years and were among the Elite Eight twice.

In addition to her program record points-per-game career scoring average, Taylor holds all three program records for steals — most in a game with 15, most in a season with 158, and most in a career with 489. She averaged 4.6 steals per game.

“Thrilled for Hazel,” said Johnna Pointer, who brought Taylor to Wayland coached her all three years.

“It was an honor to coach her and be part of her career from the beginning of just learning the fundamentals of the game to today’s news about the Hall of Fame.”

“As a player, Hazel made everyone around her better, but at the same. Time could completely dominate a game on both ends of the floor,” said Pointer, who now serves as director of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. “She was an amazing player and took advantage of the opportunities she was given.”

Taylor, who was inducted in the WBU Athletics Hall of Honor in 2014, was named both NAIA and Rawlings Player of the Year her senior season, the only Flying Queen to receive those honors. During her final years she averaged 25.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.5 steals and 1.1 blocks.

When Wayland named Pointer head coach of the Flying Queens program in 1996, she brought Taylor with her from Frank Phillips College in Borger. Her success came from being just as effective shooting from the perimeter as she was posting up under the basket.

The Queens went 26-8 during Taylor’s first season, advancing to the NAIA Elite Eight. She was co-MVP of the conference as a sophomore and earned Kodak and NAIA All-American honors all three seasons as a Flying Queen. With a 25-11 record the following season, the Taylor-led Flying Queens made it back to the quarterfinals the following season. Another trip to nationals capped Taylor’s senior year as the Flying Queens went 28-6 but were ousted in the second round at nationals.

In a previous interview, Taylor said several things stand out when looking back her three seasons with the Flying Queens. Two of the fondest memories came during her junior season when Wayland won the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament championship for the first time and also helped end then SAC member Southern Nazarene University’s 10-year, 122-game home court winning streak.

In the 77-75 streak-snapping win over Southern Nazarene, Taylor scored 22 points and called it one of her best all-around games. In the interview, she also recalled her performance against St. Mary’s during her junior season. She produced 24 points and had 16 rebounds and 14 steals in that game.

The Flying Queens were undefeated at home her senior season, winning all 12 games played in Hutcherson Center. “That was the best team I played with during my career at Wayland,” Taylor said in the previous interview. “We were hungry for a national championship. We fell short and it was very disappointing because we worked hard that year. Everybody played a good part in that team.”

After Taylor completed her eligibility, she served as Pointer’s assistant coach for three seasons. She also played professionally for the Lubbock Hawks of the National Women’s Basketball League. That team was coached by former Flying Queens coach Sheryl Estes.

After briefly moving to New York, Taylor returned to Wayland to complete her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education degree. She is a 2004 Wayland graduate. “I decided to go back and get my degree, and I’m glad I did,” she said in the previous interview.