Future Watch: Miles Bridges Rookie Basketball Cards, Hornets – Miles Bridges was born in Flint, Michigan in 1998. His father, Raymond, was a two-time state basketball champion at Flint Northern High School. Miles began his basketball career with the Flint Southwestern Academy varsity team. He averaged 10 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks per game that season.
For his sophomore season, Bridges transferred to Huntington Prep in Huntington, West Virginia. That year, he averaged 9.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 3.3 assists per game. In his junior season, his numbers increased all over the stat sheet. He averaged 15.7 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.8 blocks and 2.3 steals. Bridges would increase his scoring average to 25 points per game as senior and was named as a McDonald’s All-American to close out his high school career.
Bridges was a five star college recruit and ranked as the 10th best player in his class by Rivals.com. The talented combo forward would turn down offers from Kentucky, Kansas and Oregon in favor of playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State. In his debut against the Arizona Wildcats, he scored 21 points and grabbed seven boards. In the next game, he scored 22 points with 15 rebounds in a defeat of St. Johns. He would go on to earn Big Ten Freshman of the week five times that year. He finished the season with per game averages of 16.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 blocks.
Bridges would return to the Spartans for his sophomore season. He increased his scoring slightly to 17.1 points per game, while continuing to average solid stats across the board. Most impressive is he went from being a 68.5% free throw shooter as a freshman to 85.3% as a sophomore. At the conclusion of his sophomore season, Bridges declared himself eligible for the 2018 NBA draft.
At the combine, Bridges measured 6’6.75” in shoes with a 6’9.5” wingspan and a 220-pound frame. He may be a touch small to be a true power forward but could easily play the position for stretches in smaller lineup combinations. He wasn’t a light’s out shooter from behind the arc in college but held his own in spot up situations. Defensively he has the tools but will need minutes on the NBA court to develop. He’s a powerful athlete with tremendous strength that allows to play above the rim and finish strong at the basket in transition. On draft night, Bridges was selected with the 12th overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers. He was then immediately traded to Charlotte for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (the 11th pick) and two future second round picks.
So far this season, Bridges has played in 44 games, averaging 19.2 minutes per contest. Over his past five games, he’s averaging 17.8 minutes with 8.6 points and 4.2 rebounds. His minutes have been consistently in the high teens/low-20s which is good for the rookie. Charlotte is currently 8th in the Eastern Conference with no current reasons to tank. Down the stretch, Bridges should continue to see consistent minutes off the bench as he develops his skills for the NBA. Even if the Hornets get swept in the first round of the playoffs, the experience will be valuable. In a couple of seasons, he could be a key piece for the Hornets as they try to gain more relevance in the East.
Collectors looking for certified autographs of Miles Bridges will find his cards and other autographed items from Upper Deck. They signed an exclusive multi-year contract with Bridges in 2018. Upper Deck’s Miles Bridges autograph portfolio includes signed and inscribed basketballs, jerseys and images available at their online store. Collectors will also find signed cards in 2018 Goodwin Champions and more to come.
Follow him on Twitter @MilesBridges.
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