Friday, March 4, 2011

Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award Nominees Announced

The McDonald's All American Game must be nearing, March 30 to be exact, because just this week the finalists were rolled out for the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award. Named after the legendary high school coach from DeMatha High School in Maryland the honor puts a big spotlight on the boy and girl who have been dominating high school hoops and are ready for that next level.

On the boy's side it is some names you may be familiar with. In alphabetical order: Anthony Davis (Perspectives Charter School – Chicago, Ill.), Michael Gilchrist (St. Patrick High School – Elizabeth, N.J.), James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian – Norfolk, Va.) and Austin Rivers (Winter Park High School – Winter Park, Fla.). Rivers is of course the son of Boston Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers while James McAdoo has uncle Bob McAdoo who had the honor of once wearing those fresh Buffalo Braves uniforms. Davis and Gilchrist are no slouches with both headed to Kentucky to be the latest high level recruits in Coach Calipari's system. Also of note both Rivers and McAdoo are heading to Tobacco Road rivals with Rivers Duke bound and McAdoo slotted for North Carolina.

The girl's do not disappoint with four equally talented ballers. In alphabetical order: Cierra Burdick (Butler High School – Mathews, N.C.), Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook High School – Bolingbrook, Ill.), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Mater Dei High School – Santa Ana, Calif.) and Elizabeth Williams (Princess Anne High School – Virginia Beach, Va.) The UCONN bound Mosqueda-Lewis leads this pack from power house Mater Dei in Southern California. The ESPN High School Player of the Year last season she has kept it going this season and will continue the embarrassment of riches in Storrs. Arch rival Tennessee has secured Cierra Burdick. Will those two colleges ever play again collegiately, perhaps only in March but it is a big get for Pat Summit pulling Burdick out of North Carolina. Joining Burdick as Volunteer is Massengale, a top flight talent from the Chicago area who was also part of Team USA U17 World Championship squad along with the rest of the ladies mentioned. Rounding things out is Williams, the top rated post player and second rated recruit overall on who is bound for Duke.

Between these eight athletes you could make a strong case for any of them. The exciting things for fans will be the likely chance to see this group compete at the McDonald's All-American Game. The deserving winner will be announced on March 15 with the game set for March 30 in Chicago. Check it out live on ESPNU and ESPN and get a closer look at the future of college hoops.

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