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Brigham Young University basketball player Brian Taylor is known for his no-look passes and deadly jump shot but he has also proved spry when it comes to putting thoughts to paper.

Taylor has been awarded first place in BYU's second annual David. McKay Essay Contest, funded by a gift from Obert C. and Grace Tanner in honor of the former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Participants were required to write between 3,000 and 5,000 words on the restoration of the Gospel and applied Christianity.Taylor's composition, "Good Examples in Athletics: Reflections of a Grateful BYU Basketball Player," told of his experiences growing up in an athletic environment and applying Christian principles.

Leon Hartshorn, a professor in the church history and doctrine department at BYU and a judge in the competition, said the winning essay describes Taylor's decision to serve a mission for the church and the conversion and baptism of teammate Jeff Chatman.

Taylor, a Kaysville native, was awarded $1,000 for his winning essay. Angela Augustine of Lafayette, La., won $750 for second place with her entry, "Compassion: Perfection Through Imperfection." Sherre Finicum of Fredonia, Ariz., placed third and received $500 for her essay, "Ships and Turnips."

Jim Ferrell of Everett, Wash., won $300 and fourth place for his essay, "Doing, Being and Christianity," and James A. Karns took fifth place, also worth $300, for "A Hidden Ingredient of Love: Lessons Learned While Time Stood Still."