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Stanford-bound Chiney Ogwumike wins Morgan Wootten award

Published on March 10, 2010

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Stanford-bound prep star Chiney Ogwumike is the winner of the 2010 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award for her accomplishments on and off the court. McDonald’s along with Morgan Wootten, legendary coach and McDonald’s All American Games selection chair, named her the ninth annual winner of the award.

Ogwumike, the three-year all-state selection from Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas, joins Maya Moore (2007), Tina Charles (2006), Candace Parker (2004) and Ivory Latta (2003). Ogwumike won the honor over Bria Hartley (North Babylon High School – North Babylon, N.Y.), Kaneisha Horn (Ramsay High School – Birmingham, Ala.), Natasha Howard (Toledo Waite High School – Toledo, Ohio) and Odyssey Sims (Irving MacArthur High School – Irving, Tex.).

The Morgan Wootten Award is given to the best male and female McDonald’s All American players who exemplify outstanding character, exhibit leadership and embody the values of being a student-athlete in the classroom and the community. McDonald’s established the Award in Wootten’s name to pay tribute to his unprecedented achievements as a teacher and coach. The official presentation will take place at the McDonald’s All American Games awards banquet, March 30 in Columbus, Ohio.

Ogwumike is the top-ranked female player in the 2010 class and a 2008 state championship highlights her many on-court accolades. Off the court, she organized a charity dance event that raised money to help stop child abuse, volunteers for Cypress Assistance Ministries, as well as her church. Ogwumike will attend Stanford  in the fall.

“I am extremely honored and grateful to receive this recognition,” said Ogwumike in a statement. “I’m indebted to everyone who had faith in me to get to this point — from my coaches and teammates to my family, friends and school. My entire basketball experience has been amazing, bringing discipline and leadership into my life.”

The 2010 McDonald’s All American Basketball Games will be played March 31 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Girls Game begins at 5:30 p.m. ET, and will broadcast live on ESPNU. The Boys Game will tip-off at 8:00 p.m. ET, and will broadcast live on ESPN.

Proceeds from the 2010 McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Games will go to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. Millions of dollars have been raised since the first Game was played in 1978.

During Wootten’s 43-year career as head basketball coach at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md., he earned a reputation for being an excellent basketball coach and mentor. In addition to his five national high school championship titles and 33 conference championships, Wootten had the unique distinction of having every DeMatha senior player receive a four-year college scholarship during his final 30 years of coaching.

Now retired, Wootten was the first basketball coach, at any level, to reach 1,200 wins. He is the author of numerous books and is a famed basketball speaker and mentor. Coach Wootten has served as head of the selection committee for the McDonald’s All American Games since its inception in 1977.

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