Why this Augusta-area basketball standout is excited about his next chapter

·4 min read

The dominant storyline regarding Thomson boys basketball last season was that of youth movement, as in the Bulldogs’ backcourt of rising juniors Jahkiaus Jones and Lavonta Ivery being arguably one of the best young duos in the state.

They were almost good enough to push Thomson past the Final Four and into a Class AAA state championship game with Augusta-area rival, and two-time state champion Cross Creek. But if you talk with Thomson coach Michael Thomas, he’ll be quick to tell you that it wasn’t just all about his youngsters. Several times down the stretch of the season, Thomas lauded players like now-graduated senior Tydrekis Braswell for being the kind of unsung stalwarts who are every bit as responsible for developing this program into a state title contender as his young stars.

On Tuesday, flanked by family and friends, Braswell signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Edward Waters University in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a day that not only validated Braswell’s ample talent — he holds the school record for most points scored in an individual game — but also Thomson’s steady commitment to preparing players for the next level.

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Shortly after his signing ceremony, I had a chance to chat with Braswell about his decision, and here he shares why Edward Waters was his choice and how coach Thomas and the Thomson basketball family helped prepare him for this step.

Thomson's Ty Braswell glides into the lane for a shot on Jan. 28.
Thomson's Ty Braswell glides into the lane for a shot on Jan. 28.

Gabriel Stovall: What was it about Edward Waters that made you decide it was the place for you? And what were some of the other schools you were considering?

Tydrekis Braswell: "What made me decide to choose Edward Waters was just the overall environment in Florida. It’s always a vibe down there, and I feel like that would be my second home. And for me to be able to commit to a school down there is awesome."

Stovall: Given the way your high school career has gone, why is it so satisfying for you to be able to secure a place to continue your basketball career?

Braswell: "I mean, it’s satisfying because many people that play basketball in high school don’t get another chance to go play college basketball because of how few spots on a roster teams have. So for me to be able to maintain my ego and play up to par to give me a chance to play at the next level is everything I dreamed of."

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Stovall: You hold the school record for most points scored in a game. Tell me about that game. When did it happen? How did you get on such a roll that night? How did it improve your confidence as a player?

Braswell: "That school record really means a lot because we've had so many great players come through Thomson, and for me to be the one to set that record means everything. I set that record my 10th grade year in the region playoff game against Burke County. We were loosing bad, and I felt like my team didn’t wanna win, so I stepped and starting scoring with ease getting us back into the game, and, just, all my shots were falling. I was making 'And-1s' and, man, just everything just went my way that night. I was in my mode. But as for my confidence, my confidence is always high. I feel like I can’t be stopped unless I’m doing something wrong or my shots just aren't falling on a particular game."

Stovall: What will you major in at Edward Waters? What are your basketball goals as you go into this next level? Like, do you have plans of trying to move to a higher division of ball in the future?

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Braswell: "I will be majoring in business because I want to be an entrepreneur, and my goal is to win and get me a championship ring my first year there. I also wanna improve my game overall, maybe win some awards, and yes I definitely do want to improve my recruitment and reach Division I level and maybe even go to the League one day."

Stovall: What has the opportunity to play at Thomson and coach Thomas meant to you? How will the things your high school experience taught you prepare you for the next level, and what will you miss most about playing high school ball?

Braswell: "Coach Thomas helped me a lot by just staying on me to make sure I was always on the right track. "He believed in me and gave me a chance, and I delivered. Being at Thomson and under Coach, you just learn so much like self discipline which I know I'm gonna need to take me a long way through college. As for playing at Thomson, I’ll miss my teammates and coaches so much. Honestly they're my family and I’ll also miss the fan base.They're the best."

This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Thomson scoring record holder Ty Braswell signs to Edward Waters