By Robert Wilson

          Madison-Ridgeland Academy sophomore guard Josh Hubbard showed why he is already a Division I prospect last week in the Sunkist Shootout at Lafayette, La.

          The 5-foot-11 Hubbard averaged 24.2 points in four games last week, led MRA to the championship game and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

          Hubbard scored 38 points in a 78-61 victory over previously undefeated Ellender, La., in the semifinals, 24 in an 80-48 victory over Varnado, La., in the first round, 18 in a 69-61 victory over Southside, La., in the quarterfinals and 17 in a 59-51 loss to host and three-time defending Louisiana Class 4A state champion St. Thomas More in the championship game.

          Hubbard is averaging 25.3 points for 12-2 MRA. He scored a season-high 41 points against St. Benedict in the Memphis University School Tournament. MRA’s next game is tonight against Clinton Christian at MRA.

Photo by Robert Smith

“Josh had a great week, he played complete games, both offensively and defensively,” MRA coach Richard Duease said. “We beat the No. 1 Class 4A public school in Louisiana (Ellender in the semifinals) and Southern Miss and the University of New Orleans coaches watched the game on zoom and offered him the next day. Josh turned 16 Saturday and already has five Division I offers. The college coaches like his speed and strength and because he has score from distance. Josh has a great vertical. When he dunks the ball his eyes are even with the rim.”

          Hubbard, who has offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Jackson State, Southern Miss and UNO, averaged 18.1 points and led MRA to a 32-7 record, its sixth straight state championship and the MAIS Overall semifinals last season as a freshman. He was named to the Priority One Bank/Mississippi All Metro Jackson first team. Hubbard scored a career-high 46 points, hitting nine 3-pointers, in a 73-72 victory over MHSAA perennial Class 6A power Gulfport in his third game last season.

          The Performance Therapy/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Girls Basketball Player of the Week will be announced Wednesday.