CHICAGO (April 1, 2021) – The McDonald’s All American Games is where hype becomes legacy, launching 48 high school athletes into the next generation of basketball greats. Continuing the celebration of the 2021 class, McDonald’s is proud to recognize Azzi Fudd and Chet Holmgren as the 2021 Morgan Wootten Players of the Year – cementing their legacy among the nation’s best high school basketball players. This prestigious honor is awarded to a high school girl and boy who demonstrate outstanding character, leadership and embody the values of being a student-athlete through schoolwork and community affairs. It has been a culmination of sacrifice and hard work for both Fudd and Holmgren, who like so many other high school athletes around the country, have persevered through and excelled during a difficult senior season.
“Azzi and Chet are incredible examples of what it means to be a McDonald’s All American as they exemplify the true qualities of leadership, character and commitment both on and off the court,” said Joe Wootten, Chairman of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee. “This season in particular, and the hardships that came along with it, showed just how resilient these kids are – playing through adversity and giving everything to the game that has given them so much.”
Created by McDonald’s in 1997, the award honors the impactful coaching and teaching career of Morgan Wootten, the late chairman of the Games Selection Committee and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. It was Wootten’s unquestionable passion for coaching and basketball that helped pioneer the McDonald’s All American Games back in 1978, with Azzi and Chet joining the ranks of former Player of the Year recipients including Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson, LeBron James and Zion Williamson.
At 18, Azzi of St. John’s College High School is one of the most highly touted female prospects in the game, racking up numerous accolades over a four year high school career, including becoming the youngest ever to make a Team USA basketball roster. After putting up 26.3 points per game in 2019, the UConn commit followed it up by averaging 19.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game during a shortened 2020 season. She has a passion for helping others, is thoughtful, honest and loyal and learned from her parents at a young age the importance of gratitude. When she’s not hooping, you can find Azzi running track, participating in her student government or volunteering for some of the many causes that are near to her heart.
A 7’1” center from Minnehaha Academy, Chet has consistently been regarded as the top high school prospect in the 2021 class. It was clear at a young age that Chet had a desire for excellence and a willingness to put in the work. During his 2019-2020 junior season he averaged 14.3 points and 12.0 rebounds per game and followed that up with 20.7 points per game this season. He comes from a family with a long lineage of athletic prowess, including his father David who played basketball at the University of Minnesota and his grandfather Ray, who wrestled at Stanford University. Chet has been an integral part of his school’s community initiatives, including volunteering at the Frog Town Boys’ and Girls’ Club and taking part in the Minnehaha Academy Leadership Institute.
Player of the Year Nominees from the Girls Teams include Amari DeBerry (Williamsville South High School – N.Y.), Sania Feagin (Forest Park High School – Ga.), Raven Johnson (Westlake High School – Ga.), Aaliyah Moore (Moore High School – Okla.) and Saniya Rivers (Eugene Ashley High School – N.C.).
Player of the Year Nominees from the Boys Teams include Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Hamilton High School – Wis.), Paolo Banchero (O’Dea High School – Wash.), Kennedy Chandler (Sunrise Christian Academy – Tenn.), Jaden Hardy (Coronado High School – Nev.) and Jabari Smith (Sandy Creek High School – Ga.).
While the 2021 Class of All Americans won’t take the court this year, you can see your favorite players honored during the McDonald’s All American Games 60-Minute Special on ABC on Saturday, April 3 at 2pm ET.