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Saturday, July 20, 2019

McDonald’s Player of the Year Finalists Announced

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Photo Caption: Chelsea Gray (St. Mary’s High School, Stockton, CA) is one of six female high school prep stars announced today by McDonald’s as finalists for this year’s Morgan Wooten National Player of the Year Award.

Photo Credit: Full Court/Lee Michaelson

By Lee Michaelson

Chelsea Gray (St. Mary’s High School – Stockton, CA), Bria Hartley (North Babylon High School – North Babylon, NY, Kaneisha Horn (Ramsay High School – Birmingham, AL), Natasha Howard (Toledo Waite High School – Toledo, OH), Chiney Ogwumike (Cy-Fair High School – Cypress, TX) and Odyssey Sims (Irving MacArthur High School – Irving, TX) are the six finalists for this year’s Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award, McDonald’s announced today. Sims has previously been announced as the winner of the WBCA’s National High School Player of the Year Award.

The annual award, named after DeMatha High School coaching legend Morgan Wootten, who heads the McDonald’s All-American Selection Committee, recognizes the nation’s top boys and girls high school senior student-athletes. In addition to their skills on the court, the winners of the prestigious award must demonstrate outstanding character, exhibit leadership, and embody the values of being a student-athlete, both in the classroom and in the community.

Winners of the award will be announced March 10, 2010. The 2010 McDonald’s All American Basketball Games will be played on March 31 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Girls Game tips off at 5:30 p.m. ET, and will broadcast live on ESPNU, with the Boys’ Game, also nationally telecast, to follow immediately afterward.

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

GIRLS (in alphabetical order)

Chelsea Gray

In 2008, Gray was named the California State Player of the Year. The following year, as a junior, Gray helped her team win the state championship. She has multiple MVP awards on her resume including MVP of the 2007 West Coast Jamboree, 2009 AAU National (South Carolina), 2009 Tournament of Champions in Arizona and the 2010 Compolindo Shoot-Out in Berkeley, Calif. Off the court, Gray volunteers as a second grade teacher, helps children at her church, and spends time serving food at a local homeless shelter. Gray will attend Duke in the fall.

Bria Hartley

Hartley is currently one of the top point guards in the 2010 class. A competitive three-sport athlete, Hartley’s basketball awards include Parade All-American (2009), Gatorade Player of the Year in New York (2009), Metro Classic MVP (2009) and multiple all-league, all-Long Island and all-state honors. In her spare time, she teaches kids at a local youth basketball league. Hartley will attend Connecticut in the fall.

Kaneisha Horn

Horn is regarded as one of the top players in the 2010 class. She helped her team to the Alabama 5A State Championship her freshman year and averaged nearly 20 points per game her junior year before tearing her ACL, which sidelined her for 10 months. Horn returned to the court her senior year intent on making a statement. Off the court, Horn is active in her church, helps encourage voter registration, and is involved with other youth political activities. Horn will attend Alabama in the fall.

Natasha Howard

Howard has received comparisons to LeBron James because of her size and shooting ability. A two-time All-Ohio selection, Howard is averaging more than 25 points and 11 rebounds in 2010. Howard recently took an active role in her school’s fundraising effort to help children in Haiti. Howard will attend Florida State in the fall.

Chiney Ogwumike

Ogwumike is a three-year all-state selection and is currently the top-ranked player in the 2010 class. Highlighting her many accolades on the court is a 2008 state championship. Off the court, she orgaznied a charity dance event that raised money to help stop child abuse, is a volunteer for Cypress Assistance Ministires, and she volunteers at her church. Ogwumike will attend Stanford in the fall.

Odyssey Sims

Sims received multiple all-state honors in 2009 and is currently the top point guard prospect in the class of 2010. Her basketball accolades include multiple all-district, all-region and all-state honors. When she’s not playing basketball, Sims volunteers her time at a local animal shelter. Sims will attend Baylor in the fall.

“These ... finalists are all incredibly talented young players who understand what it means to give back to their communities,” said Morgan Wootten, McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee Chairman, who simultaneously announced the six male finalists. “All of these players deserve special recognition for what they do both on and off the court, but only [one] will be selected as the national high school player of the year.”

Originally published Wed, March 03, 2010

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1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
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3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
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