By Robert Wilson
Madison-Ridgeland Academy’s Harrison Alexander made big strides this season and last week was a great example of that.
The 6-foot-6 junior guard scored 27 points – one short of his career high – and led defending MAIS Overall Tournament champion MRA to a 78-56 victory over Greenville St. Joseph in the Overall quarterfinals Saturday in Greenville.
For his outstanding performance, Alexander has been named the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Player of the Week.
Alexander scored 17 points, including four 3-pointers, in the second half against Greenville St. Joe. He also scored his 1,000th career point at MRA with a layup in the third quarter. Alexander was averaging about seven points over the past six games, but MRA assistant coach Mark Alexander spent 45 minutes with Harrison Alexander (no relation) to work out the kinks on his shot prior to the Jackson Prep game in the Class 6A state championship game. Alexander had 17 points against Prep and 15 points in the Overall first round win over Tunica last week at MRA.
Alexander even outscored MRA junior guard Hubbard – rated as one of the top guards in the country in his class – by 5 points against Greenville St. Joe.
“Having Harrison shooting well helps the team a lot,” said Hubbard, who averaged 29 points per game this season and became the all-time leading scorer in MAIS history last week. “Harrison is more aggressive and has built a lot of confidence, that is what our team needs from Harrison. It doesn’t help just me having Harrison back in the groove, but also the team, coaches and fans as well.”
Alexander finished the season with a 14.7 scoring average for MRA, which finished 33-7 and reached the Overall semifinals. He improved his average from 11.7 in his sophomore year, his first year at MRA after transferring from Germantown High. Alexander scored a career-high 28 points and hit a career-high six 3-pointers against Jackson Academy as a sophomore.
Alexander has Division I offers from Southern Miss and Kennesaw (Ga.) State.
MRA coach Richard Duease – the winningest high school basketball coach in Mississippi history – believes Alexander will be even better next season.
“Harrison had a tremendous year,” Duease said. “He was stronger, was more assertive on his shots and improved his vertical jump by five inches. If he gets stronger and continues to improve, he will be able to not only score from the outside, but he will be able to score inside against bigger defenders.”
Robert Wilson selects a deserving boys basketball player from schools in Hinds, Madison, and Rankin counties each week. Coaches can nominate players by contacting Robert via his cell phone with text or call (601.506.2276) or email ([email protected]).