Morgan Wootten, legendary coach and McDonald's All American® Games selection chair, named Austin Rivers and Elizabeth Williams winners of the 2011 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award today for their accomplishments on and off the court.
Rivers, the 6-3, 200 lb. prep star from Winter Park
High School in Winter Park, Fla. has been selected as first-team
All-State since his freshman year. Rivers is the son of Boston Celtics
coach and 1980 McDonald's All American Glenn "Doc" Rivers. The pair
represents only the second father/son duo in the event's history behind
Milt Wagner (1981) and son Dajuan Wagner (2001). "Doc" Rivers, the
Head Coach of the Boston Celtics, currently seeded #2 in the NBA's Eastern Conference, made the trip to Chicago today to surprise and congratulate his son at the official press conference.
Rivers became the fifteenth winner of the annual male Morgan Wootten Award. Previous winners include Harrison Barnes (2010), Kevin Love
(2007), Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003), Jason Williams
(1999) and the award's first recipient Shane Battier (1997). Rivers
beat out finalists Anthony Davis (Perspectives Charter School - Chicago, Ill.), Michael Gilchrist (St. Patrick High School - Elizabeth, N.J.) and James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian - Norfolk, Va.).
Williams, the 2010 AP Virginia Player of the Year
and first-team Parade All-American from Princess Anne High School in
Virginia Beach, Va., is the 10th annual female winner, joining Chiney
Ogwumike (2010), Maya Moore (2007), Tina Charles (2006), Candace Parker
(2004) and Ivory Latta (2003), among others. Williams won the honor
over Cierra Burdick (Butler High School - Mathews, N.C.), Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook High School - Bolingbrook, Ill.) and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Mater Dei High School - Santa Ana, Calif.).
"As parents you don't hear your kids speak publicly a lot, first of
all you've got your fingers crossed, second of all, you're proud," said
The Chicago native is really excited about the game being in the second city this year.
"I looked at the beginning of the summer to see where the game was
at, and I was smiling when I saw it, as far as high school sports I
don't think it gets any better than Chicago," Doc said.
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 honor to pay
tribute to his unprecedented achievements as a teacher and coach. The
official award presentation will take place at the McDonald's All
American Games awards banquet, March 29 in Chicago, Ill.
Rivers is the top-rated player in the 2011 class according to
Rivals.com and the ESPNU 100 list. He has already been named the 2011
Naismith High School Player of the Year and helped his team win its
second consecutive Florida 6A state championships on March 5. Rivers
will bring his reputation of academic and basketball excellence to Duke
"What makes the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year award special is
its connection to Ronald McDonald House Charities," said Austin Rivers.
"There are so many families who are less fortunate and I'm just
excited to get an opportunity to play for them on March 30th."
"I've always had a fire because when I was little I was known as Doc
Rivers son, and that really kind of bothered me- so I was just
determined to become my own person and make my own name, and now that I
am I'm hoping that one day they'll come up to him and say, hey I heard
you're Austin Rivers' Dad," Rivers the Younger said.
Williams is one of the top-ranked female players in the 2011 class
and has led her team to three consecutive state finals appearances,
claiming state championships in 2009 and 2011. Off the court, she
competes in the 400 meter dash and high jump, and volunteers at a local
basketball camp in her community. Williams will also attend Duke
University and is majoring in Pre-Med.
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