Local prep star returns as WNBA player



PrepScenesquareTAYLER HILL was back where her storied high school career as a guard for Minneapolis South ended in style four years ago. Only this time, the 2009 McDonald’s All-American and Miss Basketball came back to the Target Center as a member of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, who were in town to play the Minnesota Lynx.

Tayler Hill Photo by Mitchell Palmer McDonald
Tayler Hill
Photo by Mitchell Palmer McDonald

Hill, who was the fourth pick of the WNBA draft after an outstanding career at Ohio State University, had a host of family and friends present. These included father PAUL, who starred at South as a guard in the 1980s, brother PJ who played at Minneapolis North and was a point guard at OSU, and sister TANYSHA SCOTT who starred at DeLaSalle and the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Hill scored one point in seven minutes of play in the Mystics’ 79-75 win. Three days later, she scored nine in 12 minutes in a 74-63 win over the Connecticut Sun.

She ended her prep career at the Target Center scoring 47 points in the Class 4A title game, leading South to a crown.

Twin City Unity Game

Former girls’ basketball standout BRANDY MOORE (St. Paul Highland Park) and NAKIA CARLISLE (St. Paul Central) coordinated the second Twin City Unity Game held at Minnehaha Academy. The game featured former top prep players from Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Minneapolis, led by former Roosevelt standouts AKBAR ABDUL-AHAD, DENTEL GREEN and KALI TERRY, and former North stars DEANDRE TOWNSEND and JAMEL STATEN defeated a St. Paul team led by ROBIN JACKSON and UNDRE ELLIS, who starred at Highland Park, and former Como Park hooper ANDRE SMITH.

Moore and Carlisle led Minneapolis Community and Technical College to a national championship in 2004.


Football camp at Jimmy Lee

Former St. Paul Highland Park football player BENNIE RANDLE and former Cretin-Derham Hall standout LEO JACKSON helped to coordinate a three-day football camp at Jimmy Lee Recreation Center last week for youngsters aged 9-14.

“We wanted to start teaching the players fundamentals and techniques at an early age,” said Randle, who hopes to continue the camp on a yearly basis.

Coaches representing St. Agnes, St. Paul Central, St. Paul Highland Park, Cretin-Derham Hall and St. Paul Johnson also served as counselors for the camp.


Girls’ hoops camp

The Summit University Shooting Stars girls’ basketball camp was started 24 years ago by former St. Paul Central stars and former University of Minnesota players LISA LISSIMORE, LINDA ROBERTS AND KATHIE EILAND-MADISON, who also played for the Gophers after starring at Marshall-University, as well CANDIS ROBINSON, DEBRA STAMPLEY JONES, and PEGGY JACKSON among others.

“The purpose was to give an opportunity to girls in the community to be taught how to play basketball by Black women while being affordable,” stated CRYSTAL FLINT, a former University of Minnesota player during the 1990s who served as one of the camp counselors.

Scott and fellow former prep star ASHLEY ELLIS-MILAN (St. Paul Central, University of Minnesota) served as camp counselors.

The camp served girls ages 8-11 and 12-17 respectively over a two-week period.


Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to mmcdonald@spokesman-recorder.com.