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Flowery Branch senior Worth makes pledge to play at Alabama
Sharp-shooting guard averaged 18 points per game as a junior for Lady Falcons
Taniyah Worth
Flowery Branch's Taniyah Worth dribbles against Carrollton during a 2017 state playoff game in Carrollton. - photo by For The Times

BY BILL MURPHY

bmurphy@gainesvilletimes.com

Taniyah Worth has always been a staple in her family. 

Hard working and modest, the Flowery Branch High senior has continued to pursue her passion playing basketball. 

Last week, she finally saw the fruits of her many years of labor pay off as Worth gave a verbal pledge to play at the University of Alabama. 

The 6-foot, sharp-shooting guard will sign her official documents with the Crimson Tide on Nov. 1. On hand for this glorious moment will be her large family, including mother Nakia and step-father William Cooper, along with her three brothers, sister and step-brother. 

“We’re all extremely excited for Taniyah,” Nakia said. “Since she was a child, she’s loved basketball.”

Worth, who averaged 18 points and eight rebounds per game last year, had many offers to pick from. Other interested schools included Memphis, Mississippi State and Georgia Tech, among others, according to Lady Falcons coach Courtney Newton-Gonzalez.

Worth and her many talents were a big force behind the Lady Falcons advancing to the Class 5A state semifinals in 2017. 

She’s been tabbed a first-team preseason All-State selection for Class 5A 

this year. 

“Taniyah has great upside as a player,” Newton-Gonzalez said. “She’s getting better every year. 

“At six feet, she has great length for a guard, plus she’s great at getting to the rim.”

Just 15 when she had Taniyah, Nakia said her daughter started gravitating to basketball when she was about 5, playing school rec league ball in her hometown of Salisbury, North Carolina. 

Once the growing family moved to Marietta for Cooper’s job transfer when Taniyah was 10, she was exposed to playing against better talent. 

By the time Taniyah was 14, she was given the opportunity to play AAU basketball with a local program near where the family lived in Gwinnett County. Since then, Worth has continued to thrive. 

Worth said she picked up her offer from Alabama in July, but it was one of many as the talented guard was piling up offers at a steady rate. Also last summer, Worth was a part of the Adidas All-American Camp in Portland, Oregon.

Before giving a commitment to the Crimson Tide, she took her official visit Sept. 30, when she was treated as a guest to the see the top-ranked Crimson Tide football program beat Mississippi 66-3, plus a pre-game tailgate party with members of the Lady Crimson Tide basketball program. 

What put Alabama over the top, according to Worth, is it offers her desired major. 

“I really want to be a sports broadcaster,” she said.

Taniyah’s mother said it has been more than just a family effort getting Taniyah to this point. Her first AAU program was promoted heavily by a friend, Kimberly Ballard-Washington, who said Worth would fit right in on the team. Ever since, she’s continued to thrive at the highest level of basketball for girls in her age group. 

Also, her step-father, Cooper, stepped in and was a father figure to Taniyah, according to her mother. 

Taniyah has also maintained a strong relationship with her grandmother, Jane Miller, and great-grandmother Ruth Springs, who died in 2016.

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