CHICAGO, March 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — High school basketball stars Mikaylah Williams of Parkway High School in Louisiana and Isaiah Collier of Wheeler High School in Georgia have been named the 2023 Morgan Wootten National Players of the Year, one of high school hoops’ most prestigious honors. Chosen by the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee and the Wootten Family, both players continue the award’s legacy of greatness, which not only celebrates monster numbers on the court, but also salutes all-star success in the classroom and in the community. Williams and Collier will join the rest of this year’s finalists at Toyota Center in Houston for the 2023 McDonald’s All American Games on Tuesday, March 28.
For more than four decades, the McDonald’s All American Games has been a steppingstone for basketball’s best athletes. The Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year Award has been given annually since 1997 in honor of Morgan Wootten, the late chairman of the Games’ Selection Committee and Basketball Hall of Fame Coach. Collier and Williams join a long list of stars to have been named to the honor – including LeBron James (’03), Dwight Howard (’04), Candace Parker (’04), Maya Moore (’07), Azzi Fudd (’21) and so many others.
“This award means so much to our family, as my father always sought to create well-rounded basketball players. It was just as important to him to coach a person who succeeded in the classroom and community, not just on the court,” said Joe Wootten, Chairman of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee. “Mikaylah and Isaiah truly represent my dad’s legacy as 2023 recipients of this award. They are such good people who are also amazing basketball players. I know they are going to continue to do great things in the future.”
A true leader in all aspects of her life, Mikaylah Williams is a three-sport athlete, a highly rated class of 2023 prospect, a top performing student in her class and a frequent volunteer. The LSU commit has a passion for giving back, which has led Williams and her teammates to orchestrate an annual Easter egg hunt for her school’s students with disabilities. Williams also regularly participates in activities at Parkway High School throughout the year, promoting inclusivity within the school’s community. Williams is nationally recognized for her academics and serves as a student ambassador for her high school.
As a top point guard prospect in the Class of 2023, Isaiah Collier is no stranger to assisting others. The USC commit is celebrated as a community champion, working to uplift teammates, neighbors and strangers in the greater Atlanta region. Collier is a member of numerous philanthropic endeavors, including those focused on clothing and food and insecurity, mentorship and environmental issues, often volunteering on a monthly basis. He is also a member of various academic clubs and organizations.
“Every year, the entire McDonald’s All American class reminds us that the next generation of the sport is in great hands with so many high-character players. Our 2023 Morgan Wootten National Players of the Year, Mikaylah and Isaiah, are no exception,” said Vicki Chancellor, Atlanta-based McDonald’s Owner/Operator and Chair, McDonald’s USA Franchisee Marketing Committee. “The work that Isaiah and Mikaylah put in their neighborhoods represent the best of who we are as a McDonald’s All American Games family. They— along with each of our ’23 All Americans— have such bright futures, and we can’t wait to see them hit the floor in Houston.”
This year’s McDonald’s All American Games roster is full of high character hoopers with 10 additional Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year finalists across both squads.
Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year Nominees from the girls’ team included: KK Arnold (Germantown High School – WI), Zoe Brooks (Saint John Vianney High School – NJ), Jadyn Donovan (Sidwell Friends School – DC), Hannah Hidalgo (Paul VI High School – NJ) and JuJu Watkins (Sierra Canyon High School – CA).
Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year Nominees from the boys’ team included: Aaron Bradshaw (Camden High School – NJ), Justin Edwards (Imhotep Institute Charter High School – PA), Ron Holland II (Duncanville High School – TX), Sean Stewart (Montverde Academy – FL) and DJ Wagner (Camden High School – NJ).
Houston, We Have Liftoff
Check out Collier, Williams and the rest of this year’s McDonald’s All Americans as they hit the hardwood on March 27 and 28 at the POWERADE® Jam Fest and McDonald’s All American Games.
- Fans can tune in to the POWERADE Jam Fest on Monday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
- The 2023 McDonald’s All American Girls Game will air live from Toyota Center in Houston on Tuesday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The Boys Game will immediately follow on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased for the event in Houston at ToyotaCenter.com.
About McDonald’s Community Efforts
For decades, McDonald’s has been committed to the communities it serves, and the people that make up those communities. Every day the brand takes steps to achieve a more equitable and inclusive future for employees, franchisees, suppliers, customers, and the communities it serves and fosters. Through involvement in youth sports, local charities and events that inspire the world, giving back is an essential part of the way the Golden Arches operates every day to shine brighter for communities. Notable efforts include fundraising and engaging volunteers for Ronald McDonald House Charities® programs; education and mentorship programs through Black & Positively Golden Mentors Program, Black & Positively Golden HBCU Scholarship Fund, the HACER® Education Tour, support of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s, diplomas2Degrees program and the Archways to Opportunity program; and partnerships with community organizations that uplift and inspire local action.
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