Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

From middle school to college, Madison Booker never left Vic Schaefer’s radar

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

Texas women’s basketball head coach Vic Schaefer started recruiting freshman forward Madison Booker long before her decision to come to Texas — as early as eighth grade. 

“I’m thinking, ‘I hope I’m around when she’s ready to come out,’” Schaefer said about her early recruitment. “It’s always fun looking back at those times and then just following her career.”

Booker was impressed with the way Schaefer showed confidence and interest in her and his programs, and that led her to want to play for him. 

Schaefer followed Booker’s career and kept a connection throughout high school, which ended with her being ranked No. 12 in her class by ESPN and earning All State honors three times. The coach was even present when Booker won a state championship with her school. 

Booker won her third USA Basketball gold medal this summer in Madrid for the Under-19 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, an experience she said helped her find her game and what she does best while growing her physicality. However, Booker had to miss part of Texas’ summer training sessions.

“It really wasn’t (hard to adjust),” Booker said about joining the team later than her teammates. “The only hard thing about it was figuring out the system, how they play and how they want to play. But people helped me out, so that was a big part and I got to move right in.”

Booker credited senior forward DeYona Gaston and junior forward Aaliyah Moore as two teammates who have taken her under their wing and helped her settle down as a student and an athlete. 

“They just treated me like a little sister,” Booker said. “They’re always there putting their two cents in helping me out and growing my game.”

Since arriving at Texas, Booker has received high praise from her teammates and coaches.

“Madison’s special,” senior guard Shay Holle said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever played with a player like that before. As a freshman, she’s so calm, cool and collected, and she is obviously very talented and very skilled.”

Junior guard Rori Harmon said having Booker on her team is a boost of confidence. 

“You watch her games and wherever she goes that team could be good,” Harmon said. “I feel very confident this year because Madison Booker is on our team.”

Being a highly rated freshman and having big expectations on her back, Booker prefers to maintain a neutral attitude and doesn’t feel pressure, as she’d rather support whatever her team needs to win and leave it all on the court.

“It’s definitely a big blessing,” Booker said. “It just puts something in the back of my mind that people expect me to do something. And I’m just going to do it.”

Schaefer named the Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year the second best passer on the team, only behind Harmon and acknowledged the immediate impact she has on the team and future potential as a Texas player. 

“She just keeps getting better and better,” Schaefer said. “She’s gonna be special sooner than later, she’s gonna be really good. She’s gonna help us win a lot of games here at Texas.”

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