By Robert Wilson
Madison-Ridgeland Academy boys basketball team has the winningest coach in Mississippi history, one of the Top 20-point guards in the country in the Class of 2023 and now has added one of the Top 50 players in the country in the Class of 2025.
MRA has coach Richard Duease, the winningest high school basketball coach in Mississippi history, and rising senior point guard Josh Hubbard, ranked No. 17 in the country among point guards by ESPN’s 2023 Top 100. Now the MAIS powerhouse added this week Ashton Magee, a 6-foot-6 rising sophomore and transfer from MHSAA Class 5A South Jones High and ranked No. 34 in the country in the Class of 2025 by Ballislife.com. Magee enrolled in school Monday.
With the addition of Magee, MRA has four players with Division I offers. Hubbard has almost a dozen offers, including Ole Miss, Mississippi State and LSU from the SEC. Magee has offers from Ole Miss and Southern Miss. Harrison Alexander, a 6-6 rising senior, has an offer from Southern Miss. Sam Funchess, a 6-8 rising freshman, has offers from Ole Miss and Georgetown.
Magee started as a freshman for South Jones. He was named to the Chris Paul Rising Stars National Camp Top 10 in the Class of 2025 last summer. Magee played on the varsity for South Jones as an eighth-grader and averaged 5.2 rebounds.
“Adding Ashton to our team should help us, but he’s only going to be a sophomore. He is also a good football player and plays wide receiver,” said Duease, who has with 1,774 wins (1,382 boys and 392 girls) with 40 state titles, 15 Overall titles (13 boys and two girls) in 47 seasons. “We played well at the Ole Miss and Mississippi State’s camps this week and beat a lot of the best teams there. We have some nice players coming back. Josh is about 30 percent better than he was last season.”
The 5-foot-11 Hubbard averaged 28.8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals and led MRA to a 33-7 record, a MAIS Class 6A state runner-up finish and an Overall semifinal finish this past season. He broke a 42-year-old record when he became the MAIS career scoring leader, finishing the season with 3,233 career points. If Hubbard continues his pace next season, he could become Mississippi’s all-time career leading scorer. Robert Woodard has the record with 4,274 points from 1982-86 at Houlka High. Monta Ellis is second with 4,167 from 2001-2005 at Lanier High.
Hubbard, ranked the No. 69 overall player in the ESPN’s 2023 Top 100, has been impressive this summer, holding his down against DJ Wagner of Camden, N.J., High, the top rated player in the country, and Edgerrin “Bronny” James, son of NBA star LeBron James, rated the No. 14 point guard and No. 56 overall player by ESPN, in an AAU tournament in Orlando.
Hubbard has been offered by Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, LSU, Georgetown, Kansas State, New Orleans, Seton Hall and Xavier University.