Tayshawn Bridges (2024) - Wisconsin's Next Big Prep Star
Any veteran observer of prep basketball in the state of Wisconsin that has followed the likes of Sam Dekker, Kevon Looney, Henry Ellenson, Diamond Stone, Jordan Poole, Tyler Herro, Jordan McCabe, Jalen Johnson, Johnny Davis, Michael Foster and Patrick Baldwin knows that the hoopla surrounding each of them is/was a circus, one complete with packed gyms, fire codes and a cadre of extremely large security guards that are there to keep reporters and autograph-seekers from overwhelming the players and the standing room-only crowds from overtaking the court.
Typically, these crowds are at their biggest when these players square off against other elite players or high level teams. When Jalen Johnson and Glendale Nicolet took on Sussex Hamilton and Patrick Baldwin last December, the doors for the crowd gathering outside stood five deep!
That’s normal for a game pitting two future NBA stars competing locally against one another in an important high school game.
What isn’t normal is for a 14U game taking place at a facility in Lexington, Kentucky to become a similar attraction, but that is precisely what happened when Wisconsin’s newest sensation, Tayshawn Bridges (2024, 6’2”, SG, Milwaukee) and his Wisconsin Playground Club squad rolled into town. The gym was at capacity before Tayshawn’s Curry 7 shoes were even tied. By the time the game against The Family (MI) actually tipped off, there was a line of people waiting to get in, craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the young man most believe to be the number one player in the Class of 2024.
It’s fitting, then, during Tayshawn’s game at the Kentucky Basketball Commission this past Sunday afternoon, the crowd there was able to witness an incredible performance by the most hyped high school basketball player in the Midwest as he poured in a ridiculous 43 points against one of the top teams in the country. Bridges scored in every way imaginable and at all three levels. It was just another performance in what has become the norm. People took pictures and cheered on as Bridges routinely made big play after big play in leading Wisconsin Playground to victory.
While no one person can predict what will happen over the next four years, it seems highly likely that Tayshawn Bridges will soon be the face of basketball in the state of Wisconsin and one of the most sought after players in the class of 2024. He has a tremendous support network around him including longtime grassroots gurus Ritchie Davis and Duane “Ike” Wilson as well as coaches Arsenio Hall and Brian Hansen. Bridges and one or two of his classmates are scheduled to play up this spring in the Under Armour Rise with the Wisconsin Playground Club 15U squad.
If this past weekend is any indication, get there early if you plan to catch a glimpse of Wisconsin’s next generational talent.