OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - McDonald's® along with Morgan Wootten, legendary coach and McDonald's All American® Games selection chair, named Austin Rivers and Elizabeth Williams winners of the 2011 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award today for their accomplishments on and off the court.

Rivers, the 6-3, 200 lb. prep star from Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Fla. has been selected as first-team All-State since his freshman year. Rivers is the son of Boston Celtics coach and 1980 McDonald's All American Glenn "Doc" Rivers. The pair represents only the second father/son duo in the event's history behind Milt Wagner (1981) and son Dajuan Wagner (2001). "Doc" Rivers made the trip to Chicago today to surprise and congratulate his son at the official press conference.

Rivers became the fifteenth winner of the annual male Morgan Wootten Award. Previous winners include Harrison Barnes (2010), Kevin Love (2007), Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003), Jason Williams (1999) and the award's first recipient Shane Battier (1997). Rivers beat out finalists Anthony Davis (Perspectives Charter School - Chicago, Ill.), Michael Gilchrist (St. Patrick High School - Elizabeth, N.J.) and James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian - Norfolk, Va.).

Williams, the 2010 AP Virginia Player of the Year and first-team Parade All-American from Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Va., is the 10th annual female winner, joining Chiney Ogwumike (2010), Maya Moore (2007), Tina Charles (2006), Candace Parker (2004) and Ivory Latta (2003), among others. Williams won the honor over Cierra Burdick (Butler High School - Mathews, N.C.), Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook High School - Bolingbrook, Ill.) and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Mater Dei High School - Santa Ana, Calif.).

The Morgan Wootten Award is given 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, March 29 in Chicago, Ill.

Rivers is the top-rated player in the 2011 class according to Rivals.com and the ESPNU 100 list. He has already been named the 2011 Naismith High School Player of the Year and helped his team win its second consecutive Florida 6A state championships on March 5. Rivers will bring his reputation of academic and basketball excellence to Duke University.

"What makes the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year award special is its connection to Ronald McDonald House Charities," said Austin Rivers. "There are so many families who are less fortunate and I'm just excited to get an opportunity to play for them on March 30th."

Williams is one of the top-ranked female players in the 2011 class and has led her team to three consecutive state finals appearances, claiming state championships in 2009 and 2011. Off the court, she competes in the 400 meter dash and high jump, and volunteers at a local basketball camp in her community. Williams will also attend Duke University and is majoring in Pre-Med.

"I've had some great coaches who've challenged and pushed me throughout my career," said Williams. "It's truly an honor and a blessing to be recognized for this award and I'm thankful for all my teammates who've helped me get to this point."

Tickets to the McDonald's All American Games are available via Ticketmaster and charge-by-phone at 1-866-909-GAME with proceeds benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana. The chapter will use those funds to help build the nation's largest Ronald McDonald House in downtown Chicago. Millions of dollars have been raised for the charity since the first Game was played in 1978. During Game Week, the 2011 McDonald's All Americans will have a chance to visit a local Ronald McDonald House.

The 2011 McDonald's All American Basketball Games will be played on March 30 at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. The Girls Game begins at 6:30 p.m. CT, and will broadcast live on ESPNU. The Boys Game will tip-off at 9:00 p.m. CT, and will broadcast live on ESPN.

About Coach 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.

About RMHC
Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Its programs are grassroots-driven to enable the Charity to offer help where children need it most -- right in their own communities. RMHC® makes an immediate, positive impact on children's lives through its global network of local Chapters in 52 countries and its three core programs: the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®. RMHC and its global network of local Chapters have awarded more than $460 million in grants and program services to children's programs around the world. These programs and grants provide a bridge to accessible health care and allow families more time together, which helps in the healing process. For more information, visit http://rmhc.org.

About McDonald's
McDonald's USA, LLC, is the leading foodservice provider in the United States serving a variety of wholesome food made from quality ingredients to more than 26 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local business men and women. Customers can now log online for free at any of the 11,000 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 products.

© 2011 McDonald's 

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Brittany Gorniewicz