Gatorade(R) National Girls Basketball Player of the Year: Chiney Ogwumike

March 25, 2010

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.

      YEAR         NAME              HIGH SCHOOL                 STATUS
    2009-10      Ogwumike        Cy-Fair/Cypress, TX      High School Senior
    2008-09       Diggins     Washington/South Bend, IN   Univ. of Notre Dame
    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.

SOURCE Gatorade

Source: newswire

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