The Mentoring of Madden
As one of the nation's best junior basketball prospects, East Poinsett County star Ky Madden – who is actually going by Rashad now - is used to having a lot of attention on him.
It comes with the territory when you are a gifted 6-foot-5 athlete who can play point guard and have been offered scholarships by Arkansas, Florida, Baylor, Ole Miss and others.
A cousin of Arkansas prep legend and former Razorback football and basketball player Marcus Monk, Madden averaged 20 points this season while leading his team to a 30-4 record.
That season ended with a last-second loss to Hackett in the Class 2A state tournament quarterfinals at Carlisle.
It culminated with Madden – who had 11 of his team's last 15 points and 25 points overall - being called for a charge on Blake Branham with 8.1 seconds left.
Branham (who scored 27 points) then hit a game-winning, last-second shot.
Madden reacted badly, pushing over water coolers that were at the end of one bench and the water spilling to the side of the playing floor and causing damage.
There was also a lot of heated discussion between fans after the controversial ending and a column blasting Madden for his actions appeared in a paper and was thus made the internet for all to see.
His actions and word of them in the aforementioned column clearly have sullied his reputation.
"What I did was wrong and I am very sorry about it," Madden said earlier this week. "I take full responsibility. I was really upset about losing, how it happened and our season being over. But I should not have pushed over the water. I am very competitive, but I have got to learn how to handle losing better and I am going to."
Madden had his team on a 26-game winning streak before falling 65-64 in double overtime to Turrell in the 2A North Regional.
Madden, who will play once again for the Arkansas Wings AAU team this spring and summer, knows the incident has been big hit to his reputation.
"That's not me, that's not who I am," Madden said. "I only had one technical all year and that was for hanging on the rim. I don't think I have to prove I am a good person because I am. But I won't take losing like that again and I am going to handle it the right way."
Monk is in the corner of Madden, who has attended games this season at Arkansas, Ole Miss, Memphis and Baylor, where his sister plays.
"He is super humble, works hard on the court and stays out of trouble off of it," Monk said Thursday afternoon. "He's never been around drugs or associated with the wrong crowd.
"On the court he is 17 and let his emotions get the best of him," Monk added. "That is why I am taken it on myself to be a mentor to him and help him control his emotions. He knows he is responsible for his actions and he wants to work hard to mature. He has good character and he will work hard to get this behind him and show the true young man that he is."
Madden will now join the Wings this spring and summer and also could play some other tournament with a Memphis team.
"I'm definitely playing with the Wings," Madden said. "I don't know yet if I am going to play any games with that other team."
Little Rock Parkview forward and Razorback commit Aaron Ross (6-8, 225) joins 6-10 Jonesboro Westside Hunter Mickelson and Madden as the headliners of that team.
All three have offers from Arkansas and have spoken about playing together for the Razorbacks.
"We talked last summer about playing basketball at Arkansas together," Madden said. "I think we would all love that if that is what we all decided was best for each of us."
Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey has certainly spent plenty of time watching the three young men during high school and AAU action.
"I think he is a good coach and I have a very good relationship with him," Madden said. "I think they just need a few more players up there and they will get it going."
There will be no quick decision from Madden, who had previously been quoted as saying Arkansas and Ole Miss were ahead of the rest of the pack.
"I'm pretty much open when it comes to schools," Madden said. "I think I will take my five (official) visits and then decide."
O o o
Madden said Thursday night that a radio report that he was moving to Tennessee was unfounded.
"That's not true," Madden said.
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