Heading into the 2009-2010 season, his sixth as Madison’s girls basketball coach, John Rossi hadn’t had a single player go on to play beyond the junior college level — not surprising given the school’s small enrollment, which includes only around 200 girls.
But a sudden movement began that season at Madison, as nine players from that state finalist team — five in this year’s senior class — will be playing college basketball next season.
“That’s hard to believe, coming from a small school,” Rossi said, “I don’t really know what it is. I always tell them, it surely wasn’t the coaching. But really, the kids have bought into our program. And they’re all great kids.”
Three of Madison’s five college-bound seniors will be staying in the region: Michelle Brunswick has signed with Wittenberg University, Kaylee Bush with Capital and Meghan Robinson with Miami-Middletown. Meanwhile, Josey Harding is off to Lincoln Memorial in Harrogate, Tenn., and Meghan Miller will play for Ohio Valley in Vienna, W.Va.
It’s a fitting culmination for the senior class at Madison, which posted a prolific 94-10 varsity record during their four years there. Two of the stalwarts from that 2009-10 team , Lindsay Hoskins (Lehigh) and Ally Malott (Dayton), are playing Division I basketball. Rachel Blevins (Mount Saint Joe’s in Cincinnati) and Abby Jerger (Bluffton) have also continued their careers.
Early interest: Few players can claim they’ve received Division I scholarship offers as a sophomore, but Alex White is one of them. White, a 6-foot-6 forward at Lakota East, has an early offer from Wright State, and his coach believes that’s just the beginning.
“At some point in July, my phone will be very busy,” said Thunderhawks coach Wally Vickers. “He’s young for his grade, and of course, coaches aren’t even allowed to call him yet. But his upside is really impressive.”
Vickers led the GMC is shooting percentage and blocks per game as a 10th-grader, also finishing fourth in rebounds per game. The plan for next year, Vickers said, is to increase his college potential by allowing him to play outside of the post. It also won’t hurt if he continues to grow; he’s got the wingspan of a 6-10 player.
Georgia on his mind: One way or another, Sean Burroughs plans to be playing basketball in Georgia next school year. Burroughs, a 6-6 senior at Springfield, remains uncommitted but will visit Georgia State soon.
“That’s what he’s really looking into. That’s where he would really like to go,” Springfield coach Isiah Carson said. “They want to see him in person against some of their guys (before offering).”
Depending on what happens there and with his efforts to become academically qualified, Burroughs could instead head to junior college in Georgia, where his mother lives. Burroughs averaged a GWOC best 5.4 blocks per game last season, but is undersized to play the post.
“That’s something that kind of hurt him, being 6-5 or 6-6,” Carson said.