Former WWU star Taylor Stafford will play for Tallinna Kalev/TLÜ in Estonia and Baltic Professional Leagues. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
Taylor Stafford Signs Professionally to Play in Estonia
August 27, 2018
BELLINGHAM, Wash – Former Western Washington University men’s basketball All-American Taylor Stafford is set to start his second season of professional basketball overseas after signing a one-year contract with Tallinna Kalev/TLÜ in Tallinn, Estonia.
Stafford is coming off a successful first pro season in 2017-18, playing for Hottür in the Icelandic Premier League and Mgvarebi BC in the Georgian Superleague. With Mgvarebi BC, Stafford averaged 11.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while joining the team midway through the season and appeared in 24 games. He helped lead his team to a late season surge into the playoffs as the No. 7 seed, and upset the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.
In his only season with the Vikings in 2016-17, Stafford earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player and Newcomer of the Year honors, and was named the GNAC Tournament MVP. WWU finished with a 25-6 record and advanced to the NCAA Division II West Regional as the No. 3 seed.
In 31 games, Stafford ranked 14th in NCAA Division II averaging 22.8 points per game, and was also 4th in the GNAC in assists (3.5 per game), 3rd in free throw percentage (86.9%/172-for-198) and 3rd in steals (1.7 per game). He scored 20+ points in 20 of 31 games, and had a league-best eight 30-point performances. Stafford scored a career-high 44 points in a game at UC San Diego, the second-best scoring performance in WWU history.
In addition to being named the GNAC Player of the Year, Stafford was a First Team All-America selection by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), becoming the third player in program history to earn first-team All-America honors. He was also a finalist for the Bevo Francis Small College Basketball Player of the Year and was selected to play in the NABC/Reece's Division II All-Star Game. He was also the recipient of the 2016-17 WWU Athletics Male Athlete of the Year award.
To get ready for his upcoming trip to Estonia, Stafford appeared in three games for the Bellingham Slam in the 2018 Crawsover Seattle Pro-Am. He averaged 23.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game. Stafford will travel to Estonia this week and the team is scheduled to play its first preseason game in early September.
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