Photo by Chris Todd

By Robert Wilson

       Germantown’s Madison Booker was nervous earlier this week because she wasn’t sure her name would called as one of the 24 players to make the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Game.

       Said Booker: “Butterflies were flying around my stomach. I was so nervous wondering if I was going to make it or not.”

       Considering the 6-foot-1 senior guard and Texas signee was a starter on two USA Basketball gold medal winning teams and is rated No. 3 in the nation in the Class of 2023 by Blue Star Basketball, Booker was practically guaranteed to earn a spot to the event.

       Still Booker was relieved when the team was announced on ESPN NBA Today Tuesday afternoon.

       “When I saw my name, I definitely celebrated because it is what I prayed for and dreamed of finally came true,” Booker said.

       Booker is the first Mississippian to make the McDonald’s All-American Girls Game since 2008 when two Mississippians – LaSondra Barrett of Murrah and April Sykes of East Oktibbeha – made it. Booker is also the fourth overall Mississippi selection since the game started in 2002. Juanita Ward of Callaway made it in 2005. Mississippi’s all-time leading scorer Victoria Vivians of Scott Central, who went on to become an All-American at Mississippi State and a first-round WNBA draft pick, was not selected for the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Game.

       “We are so excited for Madison,” Germantown coach Jamie Glasgow said. “The is one of the highest honors for a senior athlete in basketball. It is well deserved. Madison has put in so much work to get to this point in her career. I cannot wait to watch her represent not only Germantown, but the state of Mississippi.”

The game is scheduled for March 28 at 5:30 p.m. Central on ESPN2 from the Toyota Center in Houston.

       Making the McDonald’s All-American Game is the latest of many awards Booker has received in her brilliant high school career.

She was the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year as a sophomore. Booker was the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Player of the Year for the past two seasons as a sophomore and junior and has been a member of the Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team this year and last year.

Booker has won the Performance Therapy/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Player of the Week numerous times over the past several years, most recently earlier this month after an outstanding week.

Photo by Chris Todd

Booker had 29 points, including 27 in the second half, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot in a 57-53 win over Madison County rival Madison Central for its ninth straight win over the Lady Jags. She didn’t make a field goal attempt in the first half and Madison Central led 21-20 after two quarters but heated up in the third quarter. Booker scored 16 points and four 3-pointers, including one from about 25 feet, a driving layup and two free throws in a four-minute span. She also connected on a 3-pointer from the corner for a 55-53 Germantown lead with 30 seconds to play in the game.

The Madison Central win was another example of Booker, who is almost unstoppable when she gets that determined attitude and turns it on.

Booker is averaging 19.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.7 steals and 1.2 blocked shots this season.

Germantown has a 21-2 record and has won 16 straight games against Mississippi teams. Germantown’s only Mississippi loss was a 57-56 decision to defending MHSAA 4A state champion Choctaw Central. Germantown’s only other loss was a 59-49 decision to Hoover, Ala., ranked No. 19 in the country by Maxpreps.

       Booker averaged 16.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.6 steals and led Germantown to a 24-7 record and a MHSAA Class 6A state tournament semifinal finish last season.  She scored a career-high 30 points against Arlington, Tenn., last season.

Booker – whose father, Carlos, was a 6-10 center for Southern Miss in the 1990s – made official visits to Duke, Tennessee, and Texas. Recruited by the best programs in the country, Booker narrowed her college choices down to nine schools – Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut, Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Oregon, and Texas entering her junior year.

Booker 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. She was first team on the All-Metro Jackson team as a freshman, sophomore and junior.