McDonald's announced six male and six female finalists Wednesday for the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award. The annual award, named after Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha coaching legend Morgan Wootten, recognizes the nation's top boys and girls high school senior student-athletes.
In addition to their skills on the court, the winners must demonstrate outstanding character, exhibit leadership, and embody the values of being a student-athlete, both in the classroom and in the community.
The male finalists, in alphabetical order, are: Harrison Barnes of Ames (Iowa) High, Kyrie Irving from Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, Perry Jones of Duncanville (Texas) High, Brandon Knight of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Pine Crest, Jared Sullinger of Columbus (Ohio) Northland and Tristan Thompson of Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep.
The six female finalists are: Chelsea Gray of Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary's, Bria Hartley of North Babylon (N.Y.) High, Kaneisha Horn of Birmingham (Ala.) Ramsay, Natasha Howard of Toledo (Ohio) Toledo Waite, Chiney Ogwumike of Cyprus (Texas) Cy-Fair and Odyssey Sims of Irving (Texas) Irving MacArthur.
"These 12 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 in a written statement. "All of these players deserve special recognition for what they do both on and off the court, but only two will be selected as the national high school player of the year."