OAK BROOK, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 03/18/13 -- The McDonald's All American® Games and Morgan Wootten, Hall of Fame coach and Selection Committee Chair, named Jabari Parker and Taya Reimer winners of the 2013 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award today during a press event in Chicago, Ill. for their accomplishments on and off the court.
Parker, the 6-8, 240 lb. prep star from Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, Ill. is the 17th winner of the annual male Morgan Wootten Award. Previous winners include Shabazz Muhammad (2012), Austin Rivers (2011), Kevin Love (2007), Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003), Jay Williams (1999) and the award's first recipient, Shane Battier (1997). Parker beat out finalists: Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty - San Jose, Calif.), Aaron Harrison (William B. Travis - Richmond, Texas), Andrew Harrison (William B. Travis - Richmond, Texas), Dakari Johnson (Montverde Academy (Fla.) - New York, N.Y.) and Andrew Wiggins (Huntington Prep (W.Va.) - Thornhill, Ont.).
Reimer, the 6-3 standout from Hamilton Southeastern in Indianapolis, Ind. is the daughter of 1991 McDonald's All American Ben Davis. The pair makes up the first father/daughter duo in Games history. Reimer is the 12th annual female winner, joining Breanna Stewart (2012), Elizabeth Williams (2011), Maya Moore (2007), Tina Charles (2006), Candace Parker (2004) and Ivory Latta (2003), among others. Reimer takes home the honor over finalists: Lexie Brown (North Gwinnett - Suwanee, Ga.), Kaela Davis (Buford High School - Buford, Ga.), Diamond DeShields (Norcross - Norcross, Ga.), Linnae Harper (Whitney Young - Chicago, Ill.) and Mercedes Russell (Springfield High - Springfield, Ore.).
The Morgan Wootten Award is given annually 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 on April 2 in Chicago, Ill.
As one of the top-ranked players in the 2013 class, Parker has had a historic high school career. He's led his team to an unprecedented four straight Illinois State Championships and in 2012 became the first non-senior in Illinois history to earn Mr. Basketball honors. Outside of basketball, Parker is an honor roll student and National Honors Society member. Parker is also an active volunteer with the Chicago Park District and at church functions.
"Being named the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year is very special to me and shows how much hard work, discipline and perseverance can help make dreams come true," said Parker. "Not only is this honor a reflection of myself, it is a tribute to the people that helped me in my development."
Like Parker, Reimer is a top-rated player in the 2013 class. The Indiana all-state forward became her high school's all-time leading scorer in January and won a gold medal as a member of the 2012 USA Women's U17 World Championship Team last summer. Off the court, Reimer writes for her school newspaper and volunteers as a youth basketball coach and a freshmen mentor.
"It is truly an honor to be named the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year. Coach Wootten is not only known as a winner on the court but also a winner off the court as a mentor to so many people," said Remier. "To be associated with such a legendary figure in basketball and to join the list of all of the incredible players that have received this award before me is something I will cherish for the rest of my life."
The 2013 McDonald's All American Games will again be played at Chicago's United Center on April 3. The Girls Game begins at 6:00 p.m. CT, and will broadcast live on ESPNU. The Boys Game will tip-off at 8:30 p.m. CT, and will broadcast live on ESPN.
Tickets to the 2013 McDonald's All American Games are available now through Ticketmaster or charge-by-phone at 1-866-909-GAME. Tickets start at $10 and include free parking. Net proceeds from the Games will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®). The Games have raised more than $10 million for RMHC since 1978.
For more information about the McDonald's All American Games, POWERADE Jam Fest or Game Week activities in Chicago, please visit www.mcdaag.com and follow us @McDAAG.
Proud sponsors of the 2013 McDonald's All American Games include POWERADE®, Coca Cola®, adidas®, American Family Insurance Company, THE ROCK®, 5® gum, BMO Harris Bank N.A., EA SPORTS, Fathead®, Lids® and Athletico Physical Therapy.
About Coach Morgan Wootten
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.
McDonald's USA, LLC, is the leading foodservice provider in the United States offering a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at any of the 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com or follow us on Twitter (@McDonalds) and Facebook (Facebook.com/McDonalds) for updates on our business, promotions and menu items.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities®
Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. Through its global network of local Chapters in 57 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children's programs worldwide, RMHC provides stability and resources to families so they can get and keep their children healthy and happy. All RMHC-supported programs provide a bridge to quality health care and give children and families the time they need together to heal faster and cope better. For more information, visit www.rmhc.org, follow RMHC on Twitter (@RMHC), or like RMHC on Facebook (Facebook.com/RMHC Global).
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