It is hard to imagine a 6-2 high school girls basketball player slipping through the cracks.
Yet Valley Vista senior Madison Magee seemed in danger of going unnoticed by college recruiters this offseason. The post player missed the second half od 2018-19 and the first half of 2019-20 after transferring from Avondale Westview to Valley Vista.
She played a support role to stars Marisa Davis and Jennah Isai on the Monsoon's 6A state champions. Then the coronavirus pandemic threw everything off, including recruiting, and Magee entered March with only one scholarship offer.
So Magee, Valley Vista coach Rachel Matakas and Arizona Select Club Executive Director Milee Karee got to work reaching out to Division I schools. Magee ended up with 15 offers and committed to play for William & Mary University in Virginia on Aug. 18.
"Eastern Washington really set it off by offering me. I got a lot of phone calls from there," Magee said. "I clicked with William & Mary instantly and it felt like home. I feel like I trust in myself and my decision."
She did not have the opportunity to take any campus visits before COVID-19 shut them down. Magee said she hopes to take an unofficial trip to the university's Williamsburg, Virginia, campus in October.
Matakas said she realized her post player's dilemma and went about calling a bunch of Division I schools across the country. That resulted in a steady stream of offers and the last one, July 22 from the Tribe, turned out to be the best fit.
"I have quite a few contacts. They know who I am or at least the product at Valley Vista academically and athletically," Matakas said. "Maddie trusted me and that's why I knew I didn't have an issue doing anything for her."
Once colleges learned of a 6-2 player who can play forward and center, defend, hit a jumper and has a weighted 4.6 grade point average, they were eager to talk.
Matakas said Magee has worked hard during the club season and will show Arizona how much she can do.
"I'm going to tell you right now that William & Mary stole a player. She's probably one of my top shooters. She can hit threes and pick and pop," Matakas said.
Magee also proved her unselfish approach simply by coming to Valley Vista. She was Westview's leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker 18 games into her sophomore season yet decided to transfer onto a stacked Valley Vista team.
She said being part of a championship team and finding a college destination validated her decision.
"I needed a very competitive atmosphere. I'd rather be around that competitive edge," Magee said.
Matakas said Magee's approach to the sport is admirable, and increasingly rare.
"She wants to grow as a player and not collect stats. All the extra frivolous stuff doesn't matter to her. She has a passion for the game, and that's what drives her," Matakas said.
Magee said she wants to study sports psychology or business in college.
Her academic pursuits and a preference for a physical style of play led her to look East when choosing a university. Her other final choices were Columbia, Loyola Chicago and Manhattan.
"The style of play I have, I want to bang. So I ended up going toward those schools for the game, as well as academics," Magee said.