The Triple B Effect in full force. That’s because MIKAELA HUBBARD has Beauty, Brains and she is a Baller. I guess we could make it four B’s because she is truly a Black Beauty. Both on the court and in the classroom. It’s why this week she pulled off the biggest surprise of the early signing period next month. That’s because the Division recruit decided to attend Emory University in Atlanta. This may come as a surprise to many. But it’s not a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention over the years. It was clear from day one, Mikaela Hubbard was not going to give anything back on the education or the basketball side, when choosing a school. She has always gone big or not at all. She has never even thought about ever settling. That’s because her father Milton and her Mother, Mariama would have it not other way.
Three weeks ago my phone rang, it was Emory coach Misha Jackson. She was calling just to say hello, you see the great recruiters do not always call asking for something. She told me with great excitement in her voice. “Tiny we are having Mikaela Hubbard on campus”. I told her that was exciting but that to remember Mikaela Hubbard had D1 offers on the table. She knew this but she also knew something else. Mikaela Hubbard was not prepared to give anything back on the educational side just to brag about playing D1 basketball. Coach Misha also knew she had a secret weapon, a great education that many schools cannot match. She knew her program played in one of the three college basketball academic conferences. The UAA, Patriot League and the Ivy League are the gold standard of college athletics combined with education. Coach Misha knew something else, both Mikaela Hubbard’s parents valued education more than any basket she would score. Her father Milton is a graduate of YALE UNIVERSITY where he played football. Her mother Dr. Mariama Yilla is a graduate of U Of PENN and is a doctor. I guess you get the picture. Misa Jackson also told me something else, if we get MIKAELA HUBBARD win can win a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP… well guess what? That’s exactly what she will be trying to do…because she just beat high and mid major D1 schools in a recruiting war that ended with her dream recruit….
Sometimes when a kid is a great student it’s easy to make excuses. It easy to not challenge yourself athletically. That’s because you can always fall back on education as an excuse for not playing against and with the best. Mikaela Hubbard has spent the past two years doing three things. Playing at SJV and not losing a single game in her career at SJV. Playing against the best competition in the country and developing into the best post player in New Jersey. I have watched Mikaela Hubbard play a minor role at SJV over the years in folks mind. But these are not people who I respect very much when it comes to evaluation of players. You see SJV is loaded with talent and each player has a role. Mikaela’s role has been to play defense, rebound and bring a physical presence to the table. What people don’t understand, she would most likely be the most dominating player on every other Shore team in the conference. I have watched Mikaela Hubbard against P5 post players, against high major players and any D1 post player you can name. She doesn’t just out play then, she schools them. Most don’t understand her quickness and leaping ability she special. They have no idea how she runs the floor and can score or look down any post player. They don’t know she can switch to guards and play 23 feet from the rim. But you know who knows all about that Coach Misa Jackson and she can’t stop smiling these days. That’s because she and I both know post players with her body and size, like hers don’t show up in the AAU.
This summer Mikaela Hubbard played EYBL with the NJ GEMS. They have mega players on their roster. They have P5 and nationally ranked players on their team. I asked her in the spring, are you sure that’s the best place for you to showcase your game. She said “Tiny I would dominate AAU outside of EYBL. What would that do for me, I’m used to playing against the best”. You see Mikaela Hubbard doesn’t care about hype or social media hype. That’s just not who she is or what she is about. Mikaela Hubbard is not trying to keep up with the Jones, she is just trying to be herself and that’s good enough for her these days. Based on the news she dropped this week. It’s safe to say she knows what she is doing.
Mikaela Hubbard is going to help Emory hang some banners. It’s a great marriage for both player and school. Emory gives Mikaela and her parents the education they wanted for their daughter. She gets to play a high level of college basketball. That’s because make no mistake the UAA is a Division One basketball conference. In fact it is better than many Division one programs and conferences, certainly a better experience. Emory unlike many D1 programs flies’s across the country to play games in the biggest and most exciting cities in the country, like Colorado, Chicago, Pittsburg, NYC, need I go on? They play in front of big crowds and basketball matters. Winning the UAA is not easy, you must have a roster of D1 players. You must have kids who have played in the wars. Mikaela Hubbard has not only been in the wars, she has won them all at every level. She is coming from the one program where kids excel at the next level. You have to search long a far to find a Dawn Karpell, SJV player who has not kicked ass in college. Mikaela Hubbard is not just going to kick ass at Emory. She will dominate from day one. She also will dominate in the classroom as well. That’s because she is not a elite student…but rather a dream student…
I consider Misa Jackson a friend. She has been coming to the Shore and making it her personal playground in recent years. She fell in love with Mikaela from day one. She also did her homework and proved that recruiting is really about information and relationships. I love that Milton Hubbard has always expected his daughter to give her best and never left her take a trip down easy street or lose site of what matters most…her education. I love the her mother Mariama has been a role model for her black daughter. Somebody that allowed her to see that there is a bigger picture and road out their for her beyond basketball. I love that Dawn Karpell has mentored Mikaela as if she was one of her own daughter. She never pressured her to be anything other than herself.