By Robert Wilson
Madison-Ridgeland Academy junior guard Josh Hubbard put on a show last week at the Junior Orange Bowl Classic in Miami.
The 5-foot-11 Hubbard averaged 35 points to lead MRA to three victories and the championship and was named the tournament’s MVP.
For his outstanding performance, Hubbard has been named the Priority One Bank Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Player of the Week.
Hubbard scored 40 points, including eight 3-pointers, to lead MRA to an 86-71 victory over Gulliver Prep, Fla., Tuesday in a first round game. He made 16 of 24 shots from the field, 8 of 13 from 3-point range.
Hubbard scored 32 points and had seven assists to lead MRA to a 77-58 victory over Palmetto, Fla., High Wednesday in the semifinals. He made 10 of 23 shots from the field, 4 of 11 from 3-point range, and 8 of 9 from the free throw line. Palmetto was ranked No. 43 in Florida by MaxPreps.
Hubbard had 33 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot to lead MRA to an 84-65 victory over Miami Lakota East, Ohio, High Thursday in the championship game. He scored 27 points in the first half. Hubbard made 10 of 19 shots from the field, 3 of 7 shots from 3-point range, and 10 of 11 shots from the free throw line. Lakota East was ranked No. 20 in Ohio by MaxPreps.
“Josh had a great tournament,” MRA coach Richard Duease said. “Josh was able to score from the outside and inside despite being double teamed for much of the tournament.”
Hubbard, who has drawn comparisons to NBA stars Monta Ellis and Devin Booker from Mississippi by opposing coaches, is averaging 30.8 points per game for 18-2 and defending MAIS Overall Tournament champion and defending seven-time MAIS Class 6A state champion MRA this season.
Hubbard is rated as the No. 1 player in Mississippi and the No. 35 point guard in the country in his class by ESPN. He scored a season-high 42 points against Adams County Christian School and scored his team’s first 20 points. It was the second most points in his career. Hubbard’s career high is 46 points against MHSAA Class 6A Gulfport as a freshman when he made nine 3-pointers, including two in the last 17 seconds to win the game. Hubbard has scored double figures in 50 consecutive games. He scored only 7 points against Kirk Academy last year when he just played a quarter.
Hubbard, who has started since the eighth grade, has scored 2,692 career points, fourth highest among Mississippians in MAIS history behind Ken Coghlan of East Rankin Academy (3,168 from 1977-80), Dakota Dailey of Marshall Academy (3,113 from 2012-2015), Chris Thurman of Brookhaven Academy (3,072 from 1985-89).
Hubbard – named to the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team this season – has been offered by Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley, LSU, University of Houston, and University of New Orleans.
MRA plays host to Hillcrest Christian, 8-9, tonight in Madison.