By Robert Wilson
Germantown High alumnus and high school All-American Madison Booker and Madison-Ridgeland Academy alumnus and Mississippi’s high school career leading scorer Josh Hubbard – both 2023 Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year and PriorityOne Bank/MSB Metro Jackson Player of the Year – both got off to great starts in their first week as a college player.
The 6-foot-1 Booker started two games and had 7 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in 25 minutes in her season opener in No. 13 ranked Texas’ 80-35 victory over Southern University Wednesday and had 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 24 minutes in Texas’ 75-57 victory over Liberty Sunday.
The 5-11 Hubbard was the first player off the bench and had 6 points and 2 rebounds in 12 minutes in Mississippi State’s 71-56 victory over Arizona State Wednesday and had 22 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 27 minutes in MSU’s 87-63 victory over Tennessee-Martin Saturday.
Booker and Hubbard both play again Tuesday. Texas plays host to UT-Arlington and MSU plays host to North Alabama.
Booker won Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year as a sophomore and senior, was the Metro Jackson Player of the Year as a sophomore, junior and senior and was All-Metro Jackson first team four consecutive years. She was a two-time gold medalist for the USA Basketball Team, a McDonald’s All-American, Mississippi’s first since 2008 and rated the No. 3 player in the country in the Class of 2023. Booker averaged 20 points and 8 rebounds and led Germantown to a 29-2 record and the MHSAA Class 6A state championship, the first one in the 12-year history of the school last season as a senior.
Hubbard – a two-time Metro Jackson Player of the Year as a junior and senior – averaged 27.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.1 steals and led MRA to a 34-8 record, the MAIS Class 6A state championship and a semifinal finish in the Overall Tournament last season as a senior. He finished with Mississippi record 4,367 career points, breaking a 37-year-old record held by Robert Woodard of Houlka, who also played at MSU. Hubbard – who has been starting since the eighth grade – became the leading scorer in MAIS history last season when he passed Ken Coghlan, who scored 3,168 points from 1977-1980 at East Rankin Academy. Hubbard was ranked No. 73 in the country and No. 1 player in Mississippi in the Class of 2023 by ESPN. He was first team All-Metro Jackson as a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior seasons.