Jackson High School celebrates Taylor Mikesell being drafted by Indiana Fever

Peter Holland Jr.
The Repository

Taylor Mikesell is heading to the WNBA. It's not only a celebration for her, but a celebration for Jackson High School.

Mikesell was the first player taken in the second round of the 2023 WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever on Monday. While Mikesell was celebrating in New York, the Jackson community came together at the Royal Dock as they waited for the former Polar Bear and Buckeye's name to be called.

"I'm just incredibly proud," Jackson girls basketball coach Anthony Butch said. "She works so hard for this moment, and all of us in Jackson couldn't be happier and more proud of her."

Butch said he and Mikesell remained in touch throughout the draft process. Not making the first round was disappointing, but he said he believes Mikesell can step in.

"She's going to use anything to her advantage, but getting drafted in general, it doesn't matter what spot," Butch said. "Now her next goal is to make the roster and go and make an impact at the professional level."

More: Jackson High School graduate Taylor Mikesell selected by Indiana Fever in WNBA Draft

Mikesell's selection also means a Stark County player is heading to the WNBA for the second straight year. Former McKinley player Kierstan Bell was picked in last year's draft by the Las Vegas Aces, who went on to win the WNBA championship.

"In Stark County, there is a ton of tough athletes out there," Jackson senior captain Megan Campbell said. "I feel like there's nothing out here like the Stark. So many athletes out there work super hard on their game and want to be the greatest that they can be, and it showed. We see so many people go elite and stuff, and it's great to see."

As for Butch, he said he plans to purchase season tickets for the Fever. Indianapolis is less than five hours away.

"Absolutely," Butch said. "We will get our season tickets, and we're going to see her in Indiana. "

More: ‘He was my role model’: New Jersey Generals star Darius Victor plays for his late brother