Johnson's mother passes away

Johnson's mother passes away

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Last evening A Players Program tweeted, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Stanley Johnson and his family after losing his mother Karen Taylor today.  She will be missed."

Wildcat nation will be mourning the loss of former star Arizona freshman forward, Stanley Johnson's mother, Karen Taylor.

The last time Stanley Johnson played his mom one-on-one was when he was 14 years old and 6'1", his mom still won. However their playing days are over and Karen Taylor will forever be watching her son play.

Johnson's mother, also referred to as "Coach K." by Johnson's friends played college basketball at Jackson State where in 2009 she was inducted into the Hall of Fame.  She also played overseas for five years.

From the very beginning, Taylor knew her son would be special.  Even from when he started walking, she just handed him a ball and he showed a natural affinity for it. Taylor also built a program around training him as he grew up called the So Cal Tigers AAU Club where they even practiced media relations.

"I've trained him for this," Taylor had said.  "I trained him since he was 5 years old.  I trained and prayed that he would become a better player than myself and that one day he would be able to choose (a college) and one day make it in the NBA."

And Taylor got to see all of these wishes fulfilled as her son had committed and played at the University of Arizona and was drafted by the Detroit Pistons No. 8 overall. He also just completed NBA summer league.

Johnson tweeted earlier today, "Forever in my heart Always watching my back My angel from above I'm the luckiest kid in the world."

And Karen Taylor will now have a new seat to watch her son play.

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Courtesy: Special Contributor Michelle Floyd