By Robert Wilson
Germantown’s Madison Booker just completed her sophomore season, but has received a prestigious award, been named the Mississippi Gatorade Girls Basketball Player the Year.
“Madison is such a deserving recipient of this award,” Germantown coach Jamie Glasgow said. “She spends so much time in the gym working on her game. Madison is a special player and a great teammate. Her teammates and her coaches are so proud of her accomplishments.”
The 6-foot sophomore guard averaged 18.8 points and 7.8 rebounds and led Germantown to the MHSAA Class 5A state runner-up finish, the best year in school history. Booker was also named the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Player of the Year this season. She is ranked No. 4 in the nation by Prep Girls Hoops, No. 5 by Blue Star Basketball and No. 9 by ESPN Hoopsgurlz in her class. In addition to her scoring and rebounding, Booker averaged 2.7 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocked shots. She stepped up her game in the semifinals and finals of the 6A state tournament, averaging 20.5 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals. Booker was named the Performance Therapy/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Girls Basketball Player of the Week for the second time this season after those two games.
Booker had a game-high 24 points with 16 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in a 55-32 victory over Harrison Central in the semifinals. She started both halves by hitting a 3-pointer and finished with 10 points in the fourth quarter. Booker had 17 points, 8 rebounds and a game-high 4 steals in a 66-62 loss to two-time defending 6A state champion Olive Branch in the championship game. It was the first time in the school’s 10-year history it had made it to the championship game.
Booker has been offered by Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Jackson State, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and South Florida. Booker’s father, Carlos, is 6-10 and started at center for Southern Miss in the late 1990s.
Booker won the award despite seeing various types of defenses to slow her down.
“Maddie saw box in ones, face guards and double teams,” Glasgow said. “Early in the season, she would stop moving on offense and get frustrated. She tried to force shots when she got the ball. By the end of the season, she kept moving on offense and took what the defense gave her.
“Maddie is good at every part of the game. She can shoot, dribble, pass, rebound and play defense, and she has size and a lot of athleticism.”
“This season was a little difficult because we didn’t have summer workouts like usual,” Booker said. “And for myself, it was hard to get in the gym and work on my game. Then during the season, I saw a lot of box in ones, 2-3 zones shading out towards me more, and picking me up full court. It was a little hard at first, but towards the end of the season I started settling down and it became easy. I improved my maturity and my understanding that I cannot do everything by myself.
“We had a lot of ups and downs in our run to the state championship game. From getting quarantined and barely being able to practice, then after Christmas break COVID died down a little for us and we made a great run. We won our district and made it past the final four. It was fun and we were hungry for it too. We just came up a little short.”
“My game has improved in a lot of ways by making shots off the dribble, finishing at the rim, ball handling and passing. My game has matured from my freshman season by just being a leader and being more vocal.”
Booker’s first year at Germantown was in the seventh grade after transferring from Olde Towne Middle School in Ridgeland.
“I knew about Maddie, but I had not seen her play,” said Glasgow, who has been the coach at Germantown ever since the school opened 10 years ago. “I remember being at the middle school practice, and I saw her doing a figure eight drill. I saw how she moved and how smooth she was as a seventh grader. I actually went to her mom’s classroom (Booker’s mom, Stephanie, teaches at Germantown Middle School) and asked if she would let me move her up as a seventh grader. Her parents wanted her to play at least one year of middle school with her classmates. The next year she moved up to the ninth-grade team. I think she played two ninth grade games before she moved up to the varsity team as an eighth grader.”
Booker will participate in the USA National 16-and-under team trials this week and if she makes it will represent the USA in Chile this summer.
A devoted member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Booker serves in her church’s children’s ministry and has volunteered locally feeding the homeless. She has 3.50 grade point average.