One doesn’t score 1,000 points for her high school basketball team and become a four-year fixture on the all-district team without earning some options to continue playing at the collegiate level.
For Copperas Cove senior Madisen Honea, those options boiled down to Angelo State and another school in Oklahoma.
Honea chose the familiarity of Angelo State and signed with the school on May 8 during a ceremony at her home.
Honea grew up not far from San Angelo before moving to Cove, and she still has family in the area.
“I was going between two schools and most of my decision was knowing that, after basketball, I won’t have any family in Oklahoma, where the other school was,” Honea said. “So knowing that I have family and people that I knew in San Angelo make it much easier of a transition than going to a place where I didn’t know anybody.”
In Honea, the NCAA Division II Rambelles are getting a standout shooter that can play both guard positions and an effective team leader that backs it up with her effort. She also excels in the classroom and will graduate in the top 10% of her class.
Last season she had the unenviable task of replacing graduated District MVP Madison Griffon at the point guard spot while adjusting to new head coach Tiffney Barnes-Graham. The Lady Dawgs went 23-11, and only a one-point loss to Temple on the final day of the season kept them from returning to the playoffs.
“We worked hard the whole season and just bummed out that we worked as hard as we did not to get where we wanted to get to,” Honea said.
“She was the heart of our team,” said Barnes-Graham. “She’s hard on herself. She’s grinding all the time. She works hard every time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid that worked as hard as she does in everything that she does.”
Honea made waves early at Cove, earning the district newcomer of the year award as a freshman. She earned a spot on the second team as a sophomore and finished her prep career with back-to-back appearances on the first team.
Honea proved skilled on both ends of the court. She averaged three steals per game last season.
“She’s a great defender. She’s really improved on her defense,” said Barnes-Graham, who has also seen Honea from the perspective of an opposing coach. Barnes-Graham was an assistant at Belton before taking over at her alma mater last summer. “Her senior year was the best I’ve seen her play defense, and that’s something she really wanted to improve on.”
Honea was also a standout cross country runner at Cove, winning the district championship last fall and qualifying for regionals in each of her four years. Honea has been running since elementary school, but she’ll stop doing it competitively next season and focus on basketball at Angelo State.
“It’s definitely going to be weird not running,” she said.
Honea played in many big games at Cove and accomplished a lot, but she counts the camaraderie with her teammates among her favorite memories.
“Those girls were like my family,” she said. “They’re my sisters and it’s going to suck not playing with them anymore and being around them 24/7, and always having the different personalities around.”