By Robert Wilson
For the second consecutive summer, Germantown High’s Madison Booker – the two-time Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Girls Basketball Player of the Year and 2021 Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year – has helped her USA National Team win a gold medal.
The 6-foot-1 rising senior guard, making her seventh consecutive start and 13th consecutive start over two seasons at the national level, had 8 points (2 of 7 from the field and 4 of 4 from the free throw line) and 2 rebounds (1 offensive and 1 defensive) in 16.5 minutes to help the 2022 USA Basketball U17 Women’s Basketball Team to a 84-62 victory over Spain in the championship to win the gold medal in the FIBA Women’s U17 World Cup in Hungary.
Booker averaged 5.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 turnovers in 17.6 minutes per game. She shot 41.2 percent from the field and 91.7 percent from the free throw line. Her free throw percentage was higher than any player in the tournament who had more than four free throw attempts. Booker made 11 of 12.
The 22-point victory in the championship game was the closest any opponent came to Team USA in the tournament.
Booker started all six games and helped the 2021 USA Women’s U16 National Team win the gold medal and the Americas Championship last summer.
Booker scored 4 points (2 of 5 shots from the field) with a team-high 9 rebounds (6 defensive and 3 offensive) and 2 assists in 17 minutes in a 78-49 victory over Mali in the first round. She didn’t score (0 for 6 from the field) and had 4 rebounds (3 offensive and 1 defensive), 2 steals, 1 assist and no turnovers in 17 minutes in a 102-34 victory over New Zealand in the second round. Booker had 8 points (3 of 4 from the field and 2 of 2 from free throw line), 4 rebounds (2 offensive and 2 defensive), 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocked shots and no turnovers in 21 minutes in an 86-40 victory over Germany in the third round. She had 6 points (2 of 5 from the field and 2 of 2 from line), 3 rebounds (1 offensive and 2 defensive), 1 assist, 1 steal and no turnovers in 16 minutes in a 114-29 victory over South Korea in the Round of 16. Booker had 6 points (2 of 3 from the field and 2 of 2 from line), 3 rebounds (1 offensive and 2 defensive), 4 assists in 18 minutes in a 112-38 victory over Japan in the quarterfinals. She had 7 points (3 of 4 from the field and 1 of 2 from the line), 5 assists, 4 steals, 3 rebounds (1 offensive and 2 defensive) in 19 minutes in an 87-57 victory over Canada Saturday in the semifinals.
Booker was selected as one of 12 players to make national team after being one of 40 players at the trials in June at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Trials participants and coaches were selected by the USA Basketball Women’s Development National Team Committee. Athletes represent the graduating classes of 2023 and 2024.
Booker is one of six players who were on last year’s 2021 USA Women’s U16 National Team which defeated Canada 118-45 for the Americas Championship. Booker started every game for the U16 National Team last summer.
Booker averaged 16.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals and led Germantown to a 24-7 record and a second straight Girls State Tournament appearance as junior this past season despite facing all sorts of defenses trying to slow her down.
Booker, who is ranked No. 15 in the latest ESPNW Top 100 for the Class of 2023, narrowed her college choices down to nine schools – Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut, Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Oregon, and Texas – on Sept. 18 last year. Booker – whose dad Carlos was a 6-foot-10 center for Southern Miss in the 1990s – has visited Duke and Tennessee.
She averaged 18.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocked shots and led Germantown to a 13-4 record and the MHSAA Class 6A runner-up finish as a sophomore two years ago. She was first team on the All-Metro Jackson team for the past three seasons.