SOURCE: McDonald's

March 24, 2005 11:00 ET

Rocky Mountain High: Abby Waner Named McDonald's® All American National High School Basketball Player of the Year

Prep Star Receives Prestigious Morgan Wootten Award

OAK BROOK, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 24, 2005 -- Abby Waner has always played in the rarified air that goes along with living in the Rockies, but now Waner has a reached a new kind of peak as McDonald's announced today that Abby, of Highlands Ranch, Colo., has been named the 2005 Morgan Wootten Award winner.

The Morgan Wootten award is given to the McDonald's All American player who exemplifies outstanding character, exhibits leadership and embodies the values of being a student-athlete in both schoolwork and community service activities. McDonald's established the National Player of the Year Award in Wootten's name to pay tribute to his unprecedented achievements as a teacher and a coach.

Waner is one of the most prolific scorers in the country and has a court savvy that is well beyond her years and led ThunderRidge high school to three Class 5A State Basketball Championships during her high school career. In 2004, Waner was named Colorado Miss Basketball and Colorado Player of the Year while leading the state in scoring. She also broke the Colorado girl's single game scoring record when she tossed in 61 points against Grandview in the second round of the playoffs. Waner finished her high school career with an impressive 92-8 record.

"Abby Waner is a perfect example of everything that is right in girl's high school athletics. Not only does she light up the scoreboard, but she is a wonderful student and is involved in the community," said Michon Ellis, McDonald's senior communications manager and director of the McDonald's All American Game. "She is a wonderful role model for young women and she represents what it means to be a McDonald's All American™."

Waner also is a superstar off the court, devoting her time to volunteering as a student-mentor at local elementary schools and teaching basketball skills to area youth teams. Abby's most impressive accomplishment may be in the classroom where she holds a 3.956 G.P.A. while taking several Advance Placement courses. These accomplishments have earned Waner a scholarship to Duke next fall.

Waner is the first Blue Devil and fourth overall female recipient of the Morgan Wootten Award. She joins past recipients Candace Parker, Tennessee ('04); Ivory Latta, North Carolina ('03) and Nicole Wolff, Connecticut ('02).

Joining Waner is the boys McDonald's National Player of the Year, Josh McRoberts from Carmel, Ind., who also will attend Duke in the fall, making this the first time in history that the boys and girls Wootten Award winners will attend the same school.

During Wootten's 43-year career as head basketball coach at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md., he earned a reputation for being both an excellent basketball coach and mentor. In addition to his five national high school championship titles and thirty-three conference championships, Wootten had the unique distinction of having every DeMatha senior player receive a four-year college scholarship for the past 30 years.

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 High School Basketball Team™ since its inception in 1977.

Waner is only one of 24 high school seniors selected to play in the fourth annual McDonald's All American High School Girls Basketball Game, which takes place at Notre Dame's Joyce Center on March 30 at 5:30 p.m. (EST) and airs on March 31 at 5:00 p.m. (EST). The Boys Team will also take the court at the Joyce Center on Wednesday, March 30 at 8 p.m. (EST) and air live on ESPN. The primary purpose of the McDonald's All American Game is to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®).

McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 local restaurants serving nearly 50 million people in 119 countries each day. Approximately 70 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women.

©2005 McDonald's Corporation and affiliates

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