Extra, Extra read all about it: Top 8th grader eyes ESPN assignment

Published 12:13 am Saturday, March 18, 2017

Christopher Taylor hopes to be a famous sports TV commentator someday, offering basketball play-by-play and analysis, which he loves.

He’ll even have a trademark, he says, like the late Craig Sager’s crazy sportscoats.

“I’m going to try,” the John L. Ory eighth grader said. “I want to be on ESPN.”

For now, Christopher just has to settle for having his face on a giant billboard on Belle Terre Boulevard.

Christopher, 13, the son of Terry and Enoch Frazier of LaPlace, is the St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District’s Eighth Grade Student of the Year.

He already has faced a panel of judges for the regional competition. Three years ago, Christopher was the Fifth Grade Student of the Year. That was nerve-wracking.

Christopher Taylor, 13, is St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District’s Eighth Grade Student of the Year.

“Since I went through the process and I went through the interviews, I knew what to expect,” he said. “I knew the things I had to do, the things I had to prepare for. I just had to make sure I was ready. You have to make sure you always look at the judges in the eyes, shake hands when you walk in, sit up straight and always have a smile on your face.”

The hard part was waiting for the results. Title in hand, Christopher is now enjoying his taste of fame.

“The best part is just having that title,” he said. “People know you in and out of school. People know you on the school board. People know you at other school boards. And having that billboard. I’ve seen it like 20 times.”

Some people might have expected Christopher to be famous for his basketball playing. He is one of the team captains at Ory and he plays for the Louisiana Ambassadors AAU team. He’s been playing since he was 3.

“It’s so fun, just playing with my friends and having fun and enjoying the game,” he said.

Christopher doesn’t dream of an NBA career (yet). He would rather follow the path of his idols Stephen A. Smith or Skip Bayless

“I want to do journalism because I like writing and telling other people about sports,” Taylor said. “It’s just a fun thing to do. I like informing people about things they don’t know about.”

Although Christopher says he’s “not that good of a writer,” his journalism teacher says otherwise. He is a regular contributor to the JLO Journal, the online student newspaper.

“Christopher is a phenomenal journalist,” said Jasmin Porter, Master Teacher and sponsor of the journalism club. “The most impressive thing about him is his humility. He really has space to get a big head but he doesn’t. He graciously accepts everything. He continues to challenge himself. You heard him say, ‘I’m not a great writer,’ but he’s in journalism. He’s pushing himself. He’s committed to being the best he can be. I just appreciate the humility and the grace he does that with.”

Christopher also gives back to others. As a member of the Beta Club, he regularly performs community service. He also helped the journalism club collect sundries and necessities to send to various shelters in the area.

Last month he and his fellow church members from Mt. Calvary Church of God and Christ passed out blankets and warm clothing to the homeless community in New Orleans.

“I like to go out in the community and help,” he said.

Ory principal Christal Sylvain said Christopher is an awesome kid.

“He’s definitely an asset to our school,” Sylvain said. “He’s a leader in the classroom and on the basketball court. He’s one of those kids who is very sure about himself. He’s very sure of himself as a person. He’s just very confident.”

Christopher says he knows who to look up to.

“My favorite basketball player has to be Russell Westbrook, just because of his intensity and athleticism,” Christopher said. “He always wants to win no matter what. Off the court, as a role model, it has to be Lebron James. He’s a great father. He’s a great role model for his kids. Most celebrities, their stereotype is that they don’t treat their wives right, they don’t care for their families. He’s that one person that can care for his family and be a good role model.”