Former MRA standout wins Howell Trophy

Former MRA standout wins Howell Trophy


A Madison-Ridgeland Academy graduate is the first college freshman to be awarded the Bailey Howell Trophy announced Monday by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Mississippi State University freshman guard Josh Hubbard was awarded the Bailey Howell Trophy on Monday, March 11, during a luncheon at the Golden Moon Casino held by the MSHF. Fellow Bulldog Jessika Carter of Harris County received the Gillom Trophy.

“The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame is proud to recognize Jessika, Josh, and all of the finalists on their tremendous accomplishments this season,” said Bill Blackwell, Executive Director. “We appreciate the partnership of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and Pearl River Resort, as well as their commitment to honoring our state’s outstanding college athletes in both basketball and baseball.”

Under Coach Richard Duease at MRA Hubbard finished his high school career as the state's all-time leading scorer with 4,367 career points. This broek record that had stood for 37 years.

Hubbard's MRA squad was the 2021 MAIS Class 6-A state champions and the 2022 MAIS Class 6A runner-up.

According to Matt Dunaway, a spokesman for the university, the Howell Trophy is named after former Mississippi State player and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Bailey Howell. He said Hubbard is the first freshman to win the yearly award that is given to the best male college basketball player in the Magnolia State which dates back to the 2004-05 season.

Howell was on hand at the ceremony and presented Hubbard with the award himself.

Hubbard is the ninth State player to capture the honor and extends the Bulldog's run to six of the last seven seasons to win the award, Dunaway said.

Quinndary Weatherspoon, another Madison County standout out of Velma Jackson High School was a two-time recipient during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

The 2024 Howell and Gillom Trophies are sponsored by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and Pearl River Resort. They are presented annually to the most outstanding men’s and women’s college basketball players in the state of Mississippi.

Josh Hubbard, the 5’10” freshman Guard, had a stand-out freshman season for the Bulldogs as the team’s leading scorer. He averaged 16.8 points per game with a career-high 34 points against Kentucky. He was named SEC Freshman of the Week five times this season. The other finalists for the Howell Trophy were Matthew Murrell of Ole Miss and Austin Crowley of Southern Miss. Hubbard hails from Madison.

The Howell and Gillom Trophies are a part of the Outstanding Player Awards Series which also recognizes the top college athlete in football with the C Spire Conerly Trophy and the top college baseball player with the Ferriss Trophy presented by MBCI and Pearl River Resort.

Next for the Bulldogs and Hubbard is the SEC Tournament where they will play LSU tonight. Tip-off is currently scheduled for 12 p.m. CT from Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL's Nashville Predators. The game will be televised by SEC Network and streamed online through the ESPN app. 

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