Basketball star Taylor Rinn reflects on time at Point Park


Written By Antonio Rossetti, Co-Sports Editor

Taylor Rinn is a junior forensic science student during the day, but when school is over and game time approaches, Rinn laces up her sneakers, dons the green and gold, and is prepared to play basketball for the Point Park Pioneers.

There were various places where Rinn could play basketball at the college level. However, she said she found it difficult to find a place that offered her major and a basketball program. Rinn then came across Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and knew that this was the place for her.

“There were a lot of other schools that I was looking at before I decided on Point Park but what helped me decide to commit here was that they had the major that I wanted and where the school was located,” said Rinn. “I wanted to major in forensic science and not a lot of schools have that major so finding a school that had it and had a teacher who is experienced in that field was a huge draw here.”

In addition, Rinn said she also loves the urban feel the city provides. Rinn grew up in a small town near Akron, Ohio, which is roughly two hours from Point Park. For her, the change was different, but she adjusted and said she has loved living in Pittsburgh.

“I grew up in a small town in Ohio so moving to a big city was definitely a change,” Rinn said “Everything here is so fast-paced compared to home, and there’s always something going on here, which is so nice. I’m never bored living in Pittsburgh.”

After Rinn had gotten used to living in the Steel City, it was just in time for basketball season. As a freshman, many handle the new pace of play in college basketball differently. Rinn said she knew how much more competitive and aggressive the college game can be, but she was prepared for the challenge.

“Playing in high school is so much different then playing in college,” Rinn said. “Everyone in college is so much quicker, stronger and more skilled than anyone who I played against in high school, so I had really had to work on skills and strength training over the summer to be able to compete in the conference.”

For Rinn, the shot-clock in college also was a change for her that she had to adjust and to be mindful about. Nonetheless, Rinn’s first year at Point Park was impressive as a newcomer. In basketball, having double-doubles is a feat for most players. However, for Rinn, recording a double-double is an ordinary game for her, even as a freshman.

In her first year, the 5’9 forward averaged 13.8 points per game, along with 10.5 rebounds per game. Rinn also shot 54.1 percent from the field. In her freshman year, the team fell short of the playoffs, but her productive year was a glimpse of what she can do on the floor.

In her second year, the COVID-19 pandemic and cancellations put a hold on the majority of the games of the season. The Pioneers would go 6-4 in just 10 games. Nevertheless, Rinn got a taste of the Rivers States Conference (RSC) Playoffs for the first time. The Pioneers would lose in the first round, but Rinn proved to be a dominant forward in those ten games played.
Rinn averaged an astounding 14.2 rebounds per game, which made her 4th in the entire National Collegiate Intercollegiate Association (NAIA). She also averaged 5.1 offensive rebounds per game.

Rinn scored the ball efficiently throughout the year. In her sophomore season, Rinn averaged 19 points per game, which made her 26th in all of the NAIA.

Rinn has always been tenacious on the glass and defense. In her first two seasons, she has collected 446 rebounds, and, out of the 446 rebounds, she tallied 183 offensive rebounds.

In her first two seasons, Rinn has already made tons of memorable moments. However, the Pioneers’ victories over Ohio Christian on the road and WVU Tech last season were two wins that made her year.

Despite playing only 10 games, the adjustments she and the team had to make taught her a lot and showed her that she and the team can persevere no matter what the challenge.

“I’ve made some really good friends on the team and I’ve learned so much. Not just about basketball, but about life,” Rinn said. “We have so many obstacles that we have to overcome such as playing at five different home gyms this year and 8-hour bus rides on top of all the classes that I miss for games, so playing basketball here has really taught me to persevere through tough times and to keep working hard.”

For Rinn, her first two seasons flew by quicker than she imagined. Rinn is now nearing the end of her junior season. She said she looks forward to the rest of her junior season and hopes to make a run in the playoffs this year and is excited to see where the last year and a half of basketball takes her.

“It’s crazy to think that my junior year is almost over and I’ll only have one year left,” said Rinn. “I’m planning on making the best of my last year and a half here and to continue playing the way that I’m playing now.”

Point Park has not only allowed her to meet new friends and improve her game in basketball, but it also serves as a launching pad into her future career. Rinn said she is exhilarated about medical school and what opportunities medical school will give her.

“Point Park has a program that allows students early access into medical school so through that program I got into medical school as a sophomore, which is very exciting,” said Rinn. “After I graduate, I plan on attending medical school at LECOM up in Erie. I am aiming to be either an interventional radiologist or to work in orthopedics.”