Jaida Hampton of East Lansing High School accepts the 37th annual Michigan Miss Basketball award during a ceremony in downtown Detroit. John T. Greilick, The Detroit News
Detroit – Jaida Hampton of East Lansing won the Michigan Miss Basketball award Friday afternoon, beating out Wayne Memorial point guard Camree Clegg by a close margin in voting by BCAM members.
Hampton, a 5-foot-11 guard/forward, received 2,688 points with Clegg getting 2,433 and Detroit Country Day point guard Kaela Webb 2,031. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep guard Lasha Petree was fourth with 1,632. Votes were awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.
Hampton is averaging 15 points and six rebounds, shooting 43 percent from 3-point range for unbeaten East Lansing (24-0), which will play Muskegon (23-2) in a Class A state quarterfinal Tuesday night at DeWitt.
Hampton will play next year at Wichita State.
“This is an unreal feeling, I don’t think it’s really hit me yet,” said Hampton after being presented the trophy. “It’s really a dream come true. It felt so good to know that all the hard work paid off because it’s been a really big dream of mine. Everything is coming into place for me. I’m going to a college that I really want to go to, I’m Miss Basketball and the team is doing well. It’s amazing.”
Hampton said she improved her shooting and her leadership ahead of her senior season.
“Just being able to know how to talk to the team and know how to be a good leader on and off the court,” Hampton said.
Hampton made sure East Lansing would be playing in the final week of the season, contributing 11 points and 12 rebounds in a 64-59 win over Kalamazoo Central in Tuesday’s regional semifinal, rallying her team back from a 55-54 deficit with two minutes left by scoring four straight points.
Hampton scored 14 in a 54-40 regional title game win over Coldwater Thursday.
“We work really, really hard in practice and the games,” she said. “We do press and we like to run, and we have a deep bench and anybody can come in at any time, not just the starting five or six. We just really came together the last month, learned to mesh and we have really good chemistry. We’ve learned how to play through adversity and we’re planning on winning a state championship.”
Hampton is the second player from East Lansing to win the Miss Basketball award this decade, joining Klarissa Bell (2010).
“It’s definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity, and to be blessed enough to have Klarissa Bell and now Jaida Hampton, it’s a dream come true,” said East Lansing coach Rob Smith. “She’s been thinking about this her whole life. I remember her talking about Klarissa and seeing the team and Miss Basketball and wanting to do it some day. Thousands of young ladies dream about it and she’s living it. It was her goal and it’s just so awesome to see a young lady with hopes and dreams like that put the work in.
“To see that kind of commitment to growth and improvement has been very enjoyable for us and very rewarding, especially since this is an individual award won by a girl who puts team first.”
East Lansing has another player up for a prestigious award with Michigan-bound forward Brandon Johns a Mr. Basketball finalist. That award will be announced March 19.
“That is so cool,” Hampton said. “It was really cool when we both signed together, people were like, what if they both win Miss Basketball and Mr. Basketball, and so now that I’ve already won it, and if he wins it that would be great, but even just the fact that we were both nominated from the same school, I don’t think that that happens very often.”