Gillispie lands Burleson Centennial all-state star Tayton Conerway
STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton head coach Billy Gillsipie announced the signing of Tayton Conerway to a National Letter of Intent to join Tarleton Men's Basketball for the 2021-22 season.
Conerway, a 6-foot-3 guard from Burleson, will join the Texans after a record-setting career at Burleson Centennial High School and one season at Grayson College. Conerway becomes to second early signee for Gillispie and the Texans, joining current Grayson teammate Assem Luckey. Conerway is also the first player in Centennial history to sign a Division I basketball scholarship.
"I'm really excited to get to Tarleton and join the team," said Conerway. "Going Division I has always been one of my goals. I feel very blessed that Coach Gillispie is giving me the opportunity to play at the next level."
During Conerway's two-year varsity career, he led Centennial to a school-record 32 wins his senior year, going 32-7, winning the school's first district championship and advanced to the Class 5A Region I Championship. Conerway led the Spartans in scoring, steals, and blocked shots and was second on the team in rebounding and assists. Conerway averaged 21.1 points, which led Johnson County in scoring, to go along with 9.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3.8 steals and 1.1 blocks. Conerway scored 1,309 points at Centennial, including a 39-point effort against Grapevine. He also had 571 rebounds and 235 steals in his career.
"Tayton was a dream to work with," said Centennial head coach Trovocie Jackson. "He was a young man who was simply about the bottom line – winning. Tayton played with such a high IQ and command of the game. Tayton was tough on teammates on the floor because he demanded so much from them, but so selfless and giving off the floor. He'd give you the shirt off of his back, shoes off of his feet, and his bed for you to sleep. He simply cared and cares about people, basketball and competition a little more than most. I miss him dearly. I can't wait for the Tarleton brass to see what he's shown me. You will not be disappointed."
As a senior, Conerway was honored as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Offensive Player of the Year, named District 5-5A first team and a TABC 5A all-state selection. As a junior, Conerway was the District 5-5A Newcomer of the Year and first team all-district. Conerway was a UIL 5A all-region selection and All-Johnson County first team both seasons at Centennial. He was named MVP of two different tournaments and to three different all-tournament teams.
Conerway will join the Texans after spending his freshman season at Grayson College. Due to NCAA guidelines on student-athlete eligibility during COVID-19, Conerway will still have four years of eligibility when he gets to Tarleton. Conerway's current coach at Grayson Scott Monarch said Tarleton and Coach Gillispie are getting an elite scorer who can play both ends of the court at a high level.
"He's a 6-3 guard, but he can defend all three guard positions," said Monarch. "Tayton is a high motor player, he can push the ball, play the point or play off the ball to help his team win. As he continues to develop, he's only going to get better."
"With Coach Gillispie, you have to be good at more than just basketball," Monarch added. "You have to be a good student, a good teammate, and a good citizen. Tayton and Aseem are all of that."
Coach Gillispie and his staff have had their eye on the local product Conerway for a while and know they have landed a talented guard to add to their roster for next season.
"Tayton has had a desire to be a part of the Tarleton program since last year when we first contacted him," said Gillispie. "He knows and values what the school, basketball, and campus have to offer. He can do a lot of different things on the court that we value in our program. Tayton will have a tremendous career at Tarleton once he joins our program."