Gatorade(R) National Girls Basketball Player of the Year: Chiney Ogwumike
HOUSTON, March 25 /PRNewswire/ — In its 25th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Chiney Ogwumike of Cy-Fair High School (Cypress, Texas) as its 2009-10 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Ogwumike was surprised with the news during an assembly at Cy-Fair High School by her sister Nneka Ogwumike, who earned Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year honors in 2007-08.
Since the Gatorade Player of the Year program began 25 years ago, no siblings have ever won national honors. Chiney joins her sister Nneka, 2007-08 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year, as the only sibling duo to ever win the national title in the history of the program for any sport.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Ogwumike as the nation’s best high school girls basketball player. A national advisory panel comprised of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country helped select Ogwumike from more than 444,000 high school girls basketball players nationwide. Ogwumike is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
The 6-foot-3 senior forward led the Bobcats (36-1) to a Top 15 national ranking and the Class 5A state tournament title this past season, averaging 22.9 points, 13.9 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. The No. 1 national recruit in the Class of 2010 as ranked by ESPNU and Blue Star Basketball, Ogwumike amassed 31 points and 18 rebounds in the 65-41 Class 5A state championship game victory over Fort Bend Hightower. Selected to play in both the McDonald’s High School All-American Game and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-America Game this spring, she is also the 2010 Naismith National High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year. A three-time returning All-State selection, Ogwumike averaged 21.4 points and 12.6 rebounds as a junior. A member of the 2008 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team Trials Roster, Ogwumike started for the Bobcats’ 2007-08 Class 5A state championship as a sophomore.
A standout volleyball player, Ogwumike has maintained an A average in the classroom, ranks No. 3 in her class and serves as student body president. A member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Superintendent Student Leadership Committee, she co-founded the “Step Up 2 A Reason” fundraising event to benefit local underprivileged families. Also the vice president of her school’s civil rights club, she has volunteered more than 200 community-service hours on behalf of her church.
“She’s got a difficult name to say but she’s got an easy game to love,” said Director of Blue Star Basketball Mike Flynn. “She is so athletic, so smooth. Her game is unassuming. She’s an aggressive, dominant rebounder at a time when those are few and far between from high school to college. She’s the platinum standard for the word student-athlete.”
Ogwumike has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Stanford University this fall.
“Without question, Chiney is deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school girls basketball player based on her statistics on the court and the impact her accomplishments have had on Cy-Fair’s success,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jennifer Storms. “But she is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
To celebrate the award’s 25th anniversary, Gatorade wants you to vote for the All-Time Greatest Girls Basketball Player of the Year at www.gatorade.com/POY25. To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.
ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR YEAR NAME HIGH SCHOOL STATUS Chiney 2009-10 Ogwumike Cy-Fair/Cypress, TX High School Senior Skylar 2008-09 Diggins Washington/South Bend, IN Univ. of Notre Dame Nneka 2007-08 Ogwumike Cy-Fair/Cypress, TX Stanford University Univ. of 2006-07 Maya Moore Collins Hill/Suwanee, GA Connecticut Christ the King/Middle Univ. of 2005-06 Tina Charles Village, NY Connecticut Thunder Ridge/Highlands 2004-05 Abby Waner Ranch, CO WNBA Free Agent Candace Naperville Central/ 2003-04 Parker Naperville, IL Los Angeles Sparks Candace Naperville Central/ 2002-03 Parker Naperville, IL Los Angeles Sparks Highlands Ranch/Highlands Univ. of Colorado 2001-02 Ann Strother Ranch, CO Coach 2000-01 Shyra Ely Ben Davis/Indianapolis, IN Chicago Sky Shereka Copperas Cove/Copperas Texas Tech Univ. 1999-00 Wright Cove, TX (Coach) Nicole Sachem North/Lake 1998-99 Kaczmarski Rononkoma, NY Professional/Europe Tamika Chaminade-Julienne/ Univ. of Kansas 1997-98 Williams Dayton, OH Asst. Coach St. John's at Prospect Univ. of North 1996-97 Nikki Teasley Hall/Frederick, MD Carolina Grad 1995-96 Jamie Walz Highlands/Ft. Thomas, KY Highlands HS Coach Stephanie Univ. of Toledo 1994-95 McCarty Seeger/West Lebanon, IN (Coach) 1993-94 Monick Foote Samford/Wilmington, DE Professional/Israel La'Keshia Univ. of Georgia 1992-93 Frett Phoebus/Hampton, VA (Coach) 1991-92 Katie Smith Logan/Logan, OH Washington Mystics Michelle Central Catholic/ Univ. of S. 1990-91 Marciniak Allentown, PA Carolina (Coach) 1989-90 Lisa Leslie Morningside/Inglewood, CA Los Angeles Sparks 1988-89 Lisa Harrison Southern/Louisville, KY Retired from WNBA Brebeuf Preparatory/ 1987-88 Vicki Hall Indianapolis, IN Professional/Europe Union Catholic/Scotch Seton Hall Univ. 1986-87 Kris Durham Plains, NJ Grad. Susan Univ. of Texas 1985-86 Anderson Mt. Baker/Deming, WA Grad.