MRA’s Josh Hubbard – Mississippi’s No. 1 boys basketball – stays in the state, picks Ole Miss 

Photo by Chris Todd

Written by Robert Wilson

MADISON – Men’s basketball coach Ole Miss Kermit Davis’ lifelong relationship with Mississippi has paid off for the second time in three years.

Madison-Ridgeland Academy head guard Josh Hubbard—ranked as Mississippi’s number one, 69th player in the country and 17th in the country in the 2023 ESPN Top 100—announced Thursday afternoon that he was going to play for the Ole Miss next season.

Two years ago, Callaway High Point guard Daeshun Ruffin—then the number one Mississippi State player—signed with Ole Miss and Davis, a Mississippi native who played for Mississippi State and recruited Mississippi State for several decades as college president and assistant. Fitness Trainer. Davis knew then Callaway coach David Sanders, who played for Provine High and Ole Miss.

Hubbard coach, Richard Dawes, had known Davis for many years, when Davis’ father, Kermit Sr., was coaching men’s basketball at Michigan State University, and Dawes had taken his high school teams to camps at MSU.

The 5-foot-11 Hubbard – the Jackson Boys’ 2022 Metro Basketball Player of the Year – chose the Ole Miss over Mississippi State, Seton Hall, Southern Cal, Houston and Xavier.

Hubbard made official visits to the Ole Miss, MSU, and Seton Hall, and an unofficial visit to Houston.

In addition, Hubbard has Division I offerings from Southern Miss, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, LSU, Georgetown, Kansas State, and New Orleans.

“I want to thank God for giving me the abilities to practice the sport I love,” Hubbard said in the announcement held at the MRA Arena in front of several hundred students, family, fans and live streamed online at the MRA School. “I want to thank my lovely family for supporting me and making this dream come true since I was so young. I want to thank the two behind me, my parents (Dad, Jason, and Mum, Betty) who have been there since day one. They raised me right and kept me in a straight line.” Two of the important coaches in my life are Coach Duease and (former high school MRA and high school assistant) Mark Alexander Coach Alexander (now in his first year as a girls’ basketball coach at Hartfield Academy) promoted me from seventh grade to co-ed (junior school) Coach Dawes from grade 8 brought me to high school. It shows they saw something in me that I didn’t even. Since 9th grade, my team at Al Ain University, THAAD team (from Memphis) has played a huge role in my career, playing on the biggest platform in the country, and he helped me mentally and physically.”

Then there’s Davis and Olly Mays.

“Ole Miss is a great program with some new coaches on the staff,” Hubbard said. “Coach Davis not only has great future plans with me, but the team as well. It was very important to be close to home. They have great expectations for this year and next.”

Doyce – the active national leader in boys’ basketball wins and the all-time Mississippi leader in wins (boys and girls) – is glad Hubbard made the decision behind him.

“Josh had spent many years preparing his game for this moment and it wasn’t because he just had a natural talent. He worked on it. He did what it took to get to that point,” Doyce said. “He gave up on a promising football career. I think he was a Power 5 footballer, but he loved basketball. He had many great options to choose from. Kermit is a great friend of mine and Josh would have a great time there. I’m proud of him and I’m ready to start this year.”

Hubbard was so impressive at a tournament in Orlando this summer that college coaches from all over the country were there to watch some of the best high school players in the country.

Hubbard performed well against the nation’s top-ranked player—6-1 DJ Wagner of Camden, New Jersey, Hay and grandson of former Louisville NBA and All-American player Milt Wagner and son of former NBA and All-American player Milt Wagner. In Memphis Daguan Wagner. Wagner scored 28 points in 32 minutes, while Hubbard scored 20 points in 25 minutes. Hubbard was 8 out of 10 from the field and 4 out of 6 from the 3-point range.

Hubbard also outperformed Edgerin “Bronny” James, son of NBA star LeBron James, 15 to 11 in the tournament held in Orlando. James is ranked as the 56th player overall and 14th in the ESPN 2023 Top 100.

Hubbard averaged 17.2 points in 22.7 minutes in four games in the tournament. He shot 53.4 percent from the field (23 of 43), 52.3 percent from 3-point range (11 of 21) and 80 percent from the free throw line (12 of 15).

Hubbard averaged 28.8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals, and led the MRA to a record 33-7, MAIS Class 6A runner-up, and semi-finalist overall this past season. He broke the 42-year-old’s record when he became MAIS’ career scoring leader, and finished the season with 3,233 career points.

Hubbard has scored in double figures in 70 consecutive games going back to his early sophomore season (he scored 7 points against Kirk Academy when he played only a quarter).

He scored 42 points, a season high and scored his team’s first 20 points against Adams County Christian School last season. Hubbard scored 40 points, including eight three-pointers, a season high, against Gulliver’s Prep, Florida, at the Junior Orange Bowl Classic in Miami over the Christmas holidays. He made 16 of 24 rounds from the field, and 8 of 13 from 3-point range.

Hubbard was named MVP of the tournament and averaged 35 points and led the MRA to three wins and the championship.

Hubbard, who has drawn comparisons to NBA stars Monta Ellis and Devin Booker of Mississippi by opposing coaches, scored a career high of 46 points against MHSAA Class 6A Gulfport as a freshman when he made nine three-pointers, including two in the last 17 seconds. . to win the game.

Hubbard, who has started since the eighth grade, became the leading professional goalscorer in MAIS history on February 23 when he surpassed Ken Coughlan, who scored 3,168 points from 1977-1980 at East Rankin Academy.

If Hubbard continues his career next season, he could become Mississippi’s top scorer.

Robert Woodard has the record with 4,274 points from 1982-86 at Holka Hai. Monta Ellis finished second with 4,167 from 2001-2005 at Lanier High.

Hubbard has increased his GPA each season, 15.3 points in eighth grade, 18.2 as a freshman, 24.3 in sophomore and 28.8 in freshmen this season. He made 108 three-pointers this season and 332 for his career.

Duease has set a tough non-conference schedule for Hubbard’s first season. The MRA opens October 29 against the MHSAA Class 6A Meridian. The Patriots also play for MHSAA Class 6A schools in Starkville (in New Hope), Tupelo (in the Rumble in the South at Mississippi College in Clinton), Gulfport and Biloxi (regular season games), and Bartlett Tenn. (starring in Corinth) and Memphis. East (in MC) and championship play in Bristol, Tenn. It is one of the best leagues in the country.

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