Basketball and family are certainly important to Madison Campbell, and after being courted by some of the top college basketball programs in the country, the Clovis West star ultimately chose the school that was most fervent and honest in its pursuit of the highly talented junior.
Campbell, the 5-foot-11 do-everything guard, held multiple college scholarship offers — 28 in Division I alone — but in the end, it was the relationships built with the USC coaching staff over the past two years that stood out the most, as the 2017-18 Tri-River Athletic Conference Player of the Year recently verbally committed to the Trojans.
“I absolutely love the coaching staff; they’re genuine, transparent, loving, competitive, and honest,” said Campbell, who averaged 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists a game in going 32-4 this season. “I can tell they’re going to push me to be the best I can be and take care of me all four years at USC.”
It certainly helps to have someone by her side to help navigate what can be a stressful process for any high school athlete — her father and coach Craig Campbell.
“She was the first player they offered in the 2019 class and other schools were pressuring her and trying to put the squeeze on her to commit,” Craig Campbell said. “USC stood by ‘We would love to have you commit any time you are ready, but if you need to wait until the fall, we will have a scholarship for you.’”
“I think that confidence they showed in her and her abilities really won her over.”
Campbell’s abilities are vast – an agile combo-guard that can shoot, handle the ball, read pressure, pass, is fundamentally sound and, most of all, is a coachable leader.
She is ranked the No. 97 overall prospect in the class of 2019 and is a four-star recruit by Prospects Nation. She was also named to the 2017-18 Open Division first team and the All-State Elite team, featuring the top 12 players in the state.
Oh yeah, and she’s won a few games in her three-year varsity career: a combined 96-10 overall record, 30-0 in league, three D-I Valley titles (the school’s sixth in a row), a CIF State Open title and national No. 1 ranking by ESPN, MaxPreps and USA Today in 2016-17.
In the 2017-18 season, after graduating five seniors who went on to play Division I basketball in 2017, Campbell took the reins and was the driving force behind a team that punched its ticket to the SoCal Open Championship game as the No. 2 seed, losing to eventual state champion Winward 61-50.
Craig Campbell says his daughter’s decision was hers alone and would support wherever her heart led, even thousands of miles away.
“Being in California is an added bonus for her and our family, but that was never the main factor,” Craig Campbell said. “I told her to find the right fit first and that she is only an airline flight away if she goes across the country.”
Other top schools in consideration were Indiana, Utah, Michigan, Florida, TCU and Arizona. Fresno State also offered a scholarship as did Harvard of the Ivy League.
The first official signing period for basketball seniors to sign National Letters of Intent is Nov. 14, 2018.
“I’m super excited but this whole process was long, full of excitement, stress, and everything in between,” Maddie said. “I’m so blessed to have been given this situation, but I’m also thankful that it’s finally over.”