Basketball in the Milwaukee area always has a number of young hoopers who can really make an impact to games when they are on the floor, players stepping up and making names for themselves, and players continuing to elevate their games with hard work regardless of prior notoriety. 2020 Guard, Kaleim Taylor (Milwaukee Academy of Science – Milwaukee, WI) is one of those players who has received a lot of interest already from local and national college recruiters, and is now looking to take his game to a whole new level.

Having already been on some schools’ radars, Taylor competed this past AAU season with the Kevon Looney Elite squad and then in the summer with a talented group of players on the Spartans-Rebels team. Playing up with the 17’s, Taylor took a few lumps at times, but also showcased pure talent and a natural feel for the game with a nice skill-set to match, and in turn has developed into a target heating up with Division I programs. During the summer though, Taylor tried to let go of some of the pressure that can come with being recruited and instead enjoyed playing the season with teammates he knows he won’t get to share the court with next summer. “My biggest highlight was playing my last season with brothers since I played up with 17’s… I just tried to enjoy it while I could, and we had ups and downs, but when I look back, I enjoyed being around my brothers the most.”

As he works to continue putting his full game together, Taylor has flashed major ability to score the basketball, and in doing so, he is capable of taking over games when he gets rolling. However, Taylor also believes there is an aspect to his game that gets overlooked sometimes, and that’s his ability to share the rock. “My biggest strength is creating for my teammates,” the 6’2”, 185-pound junior guard stated. He explained by saying “when I drive and look to score, I create a lot of attention so that opens up more opportunities for my teammates to shine and get theirs.”  Taylor also said that he feels his jump shot has gotten a lot better. He has an uncanny ability to get to the basket, and when there he is able to finish through contact with his stout frame and good touch around the rim. With his upgraded jumper and the ability to hit shots from the perimeter some as well, Taylor combines his scoring skills with his vision and passing to really put defenses in tough spots to guard him and limit his effectiveness. As he gets more consistent, he will really take off in that aspect as well. Taylor also added that he is working constantly at gaining more explosiveness and quickness.

Though Taylor may have seemed reserved at times on the floor up with the 17’s, Taylor is actually a solid leader. He is taking big strides with his confidence and ability to build confidence for his teammates. Part of that confidence is setting big expectations for himself and his team. “My main goal is leading my team to state and I know if I can help get us there, I’m not letting us lose,” the talented Milwaukee-based guard said, showing that confidence he wants his teammates to respect and taking on that responsibility. “I also want to win some type of awards like all conference and stuff like that, but my number one priority is winning state,” he reiterated, while acknowledging that earning some individual recognition is something he, as most young players do, would cherish the honors.

As Taylor takes the court with his Milwaukee Academy of Science team this year, he does so with an offer already in hand, and interest from a slew of other Division I schools to boot. The rising guard prospect has an offer from UW-Milwaukee, along with interest still coming in from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Bradley, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado State, Ball State, IUPUI, and UW-Green Bay, Portland, Marquette and Iowa State.

Taylor will also hit the hardwood this year with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, and as most sports enthusiasts know… that can often lead to the greatest results. What motivates Taylor and has put that chip on his shoulder has a bit to do with talk and respect. “My biggest motivation is not being put in the mix with the other good players… I feel I’m just as good as, or better than some top players – [‘100’] – this year is a statement year for me and I feel I got a lot of proving to do to myself and everybody watching.” Make sure you keep your eyes on this young standout out of Milwaukee this year as he is certainly looking to show what he is capable of achieving when competition resumes this winter.