Whitney Young star Linnae Harper is a 5-7 guard who has signed with Kentucky. She won gold on the U17 USA team and was named to both the McDonald's & WBCA All-American teams.
Lexie Brown, Kaela Davis, Diamond Deshields, Linnae Harper, Taya Reimer and Mercedes Russell are finalists for the Morgan Wootten Award Player of the Year Award. All five candidates are ranked in the top 15 of the 2013 Full Court Fresh 50 and each candidate won gold this summer for USA Basketball.
Lexie Brown, No. 13 in the Full Court Fresh 50, led North Gwinnett (Suwanee, GA) to its first-ever national ranking and an appearance in the Georgia State Championship game. The future Maryland Terrapin averaged 18.5 points, 7.0 assists, 5.5 steals and 4.3 rebounds per game.
No. 3 Kaela Davis did not finish her high school season with Buford in Georgia for heath reasons, but prior to leaving the team the 6-1 forward averaged 22 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game. Davis will play for Georgia Tech in the fall.
Diamond DeShields of Norcross High School (Norcross, GA), was already named the 2013 WBCA Player of the Year. Diamond, ranked No. 1 in the Full Court Fresh 50, led the Blue Devils to the Georgia 7-A State championship, beating rival North Gwinnett in the championship game. DeShields, who also won state championships as a freshman and sophomore, has committed to North Carolina.
Chicago's Linnae Harper, of Whitney Young High School, led her team to an undefeated season in 2011-12 but this year the Dolphins fell in the state semifinal game. No. 7 ranked Harper averaged 25 points, 9.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, and will play for the Kentucky Wildcats next season.
Taya Reimer of Hamilton Southeastern High School (Indianapolis, IN) Reimer is the daughter of 1991 McDonald's All American Ben Davis. The pair makes up the first father/daughter duo in the history of the McDonald's games. Reimer, who will attend Notre Dame, averaged 21 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks this season.
No. 2 ranked Mercedes Russell averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks per game this season for Springfield High School (Springfield, OR). The 6-5 center led her team to the state championship game, and she will play for the Tennessee Lady Vols next season.
The winner of the Player of the Year Award will be announced on March 18 in Chicago. Each year, the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award recognizes the nation’s top male and female player who demonstrates outstanding character, exhibits leadership, and embodies the values of being a student-athlete in both schoolwork and community affairs. Previous award winners include Shane Battier (1997), Jay Williams (1999), Candace Parker (2004) and Austin Rivers (2011), among others.
The 2013 McDonald's All American Game will take place on Wednesday, April 3 in Chicago at the United Center.
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