Issaquah Eagles forward Asa Taylor, left, prepares to make a move in the low post in a game against the Skyline Spartans. Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography

Issaquah Eagles forward Asa Taylor, left, prepares to make a move in the low post in a game against the Skyline Spartans. Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography

Fundraiser collects money for former Issaquah basketball star

More than $21,000 has been raised to help pay for Asa Taylor’s medical bills after collapsing at practice.

While practicing with his basketball team at Colorado Northwestern Community College on Sept. 16, former Issaquah Eagles forward Asa Taylor collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. Taylor had suffered a seizure caused by activity induced heat stroke and was airlifted to a hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Taylor, who graduated from Issaquah High School in 2019, spent almost two weeks in the hospital with an elevated body temperature and heart rate. In order to help the Taylor family with medical expenses, Doreen King, a relative of Taylor’s, set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to collect money.

The fundraiser, which has more than 200 donations, has raised more than $21,000 for the Taylor family. According to the fundraiser website, Taylor was released from the hospital on Sept. 29 and will soon start physical therapy to recover after the damage caused to his liver and kidneys.

Issaquah basketball head coach Brad Valentine only coached Taylor for one year, but he said the 6-foot-5 forward was a fun person to be around and he made a lasting impression on him.

“He’s one of the best kids in terms of his personality that I’ve ever been around,” Valentine said. “He’s a happy, joyous kid who came in every day with a smile on his face and wanted to be at practice every day.”

Valentine said it has been great to see how the Issaquah basketball community has rallied around Taylor, but he said the overwhelming response is because of the impact Taylor has made on them.

“It shows that we have a pretty good basketball community in Issaquah,” Valentine said. “But the money that has been raised speaks volumes to how we feel about Asa and what he has done for us. Everyone is pitching in because of the kid he is.”

While this has been a tough time for everyone who knows Taylor, Valentine said it has served as a reminder for him to keep in touch with his former players. Since joining the Colorado Northwestern Community College basketball team, Valentine said the two didn’t communicate as much as they both would have liked.

“Since everything that has happened, I’ve talked to him multiple times a day and FaceTimed him a few times,” Valentine said. “It’s been really good. It puts things into perspective for our relationship going forward.”

Valentine said Taylor has been able to maintain his bubbly personality throughout these tough times.

“That’s just who he is. He’s a positive guy,” Valentine said. “He has a really good support system with his mom and brother. They take good care of him. They’re super strong and I think through the whole process, he’s able to lean on them.”

Valentine said he hopes people know that Taylor is a great kid who’s funny and a talented basketball player.

“He would like for people to know that he is pretty good at rapping too,” Valentine said.

On Twitter, Taylor thanked everyone for the support and the donations.

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