Gatorade(R) National Girls Basketball Player of the Year: Chiney Ogwumike

Pac-10 Player of the Year and 2007-08 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year Nneka Ogwumike Surprises Sister With Elite Honor

Mar 25, 2010, 15:00 ET from Gatorade

HOUSTON, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 25th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Chiney Ogwumike of Cy-Fair High School (Cypress, Texas) as its 2009-10 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year.  Ogwumike was surprised with the news during an assembly at Cy-Fair High School by her sister Nneka Ogwumike, who earned Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year honors in 2007-08.

Since the Gatorade Player of the Year program began 25 years ago, no siblings have ever won national honors.  Chiney joins her sister Nneka, 2007-08 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year, as the only sibling duo to ever win the national title in the history of the program for any sport.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Ogwumike as the nation's best high school girls basketball player.  A national advisory panel comprised of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country helped select Ogwumike from more than 444,000 high school girls basketball players nationwide. Ogwumike is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 6-foot-3 senior forward led the Bobcats (36-1) to a Top 15 national ranking and the Class 5A state tournament title this past season, averaging 22.9 points, 13.9 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.1 blocks per game.  The No. 1 national recruit in the Class of 2010 as ranked by ESPNU and Blue Star Basketball, Ogwumike amassed 31 points and 18 rebounds in the 65-41 Class 5A state championship game victory over Fort Bend Hightower.  Selected to play in both the McDonald's High School All-American Game and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-America Game this spring, she is also the 2010 Naismith National High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year.  A three-time returning All-State selection, Ogwumike averaged 21.4 points and 12.6 rebounds as a junior.  A member of the 2008 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team Trials Roster, Ogwumike started for the Bobcats' 2007-08 Class 5A state championship as a sophomore.

A standout volleyball player, Ogwumike has maintained an A average in the classroom, ranks No. 3 in her class and serves as student body president.  A member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Superintendent Student Leadership Committee, she co-founded the "Step Up 2 A Reason" fundraising event to benefit local underprivileged families.  Also the vice president of her school's civil rights club, she has volunteered more than 200 community-service hours on behalf of her church.

"She's got a difficult name to say but she's got an easy game to love," said Director of Blue Star Basketball Mike Flynn. "She is so athletic, so smooth. Her game is unassuming. She's an aggressive, dominant rebounder at a time when those are few and far between from high school to college. She's the platinum standard for the word student-athlete."

Ogwumike has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Stanford University this fall.

"Without question, Chiney is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school girls basketball player based on her statistics on the court and the impact her accomplishments have had on Cy-Fair's success," said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jennifer Storms.  "But she is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader and a student-athlete should be.  She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

To celebrate the award's 25th anniversary, Gatorade wants you to vote for the All-Time Greatest Girls Basketball Player of the Year at  To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit







Chiney Ogwumike

Cy-Fair/Cypress, TX

High School Senior


Skylar Diggins

Washington/South Bend, IN

Univ. of Notre Dame


Nneka Ogwumike

Cy-Fair/Cypress, TX

Stanford University


Maya Moore

Collins Hill/Suwanee, GA

Univ. of Connecticut


Tina Charles

Christ the King/Middle Village, NY

Univ. of Connecticut


Abby Waner

Thunder Ridge/Highlands Ranch, CO

WNBA Free Agent


Candace Parker

Naperville Central/Naperville, IL

Los Angeles Sparks


Candace Parker

Naperville Central/Naperville, IL

Los Angeles Sparks


Ann Strother

Highlands Ranch/Highlands Ranch, CO

Univ. of Colorado Coach


Shyra Ely

Ben Davis/Indianapolis, IN

Chicago Sky


Shereka Wright

Copperas Cove/Copperas Cove, TX

Texas Tech Univ. (Coach)


Nicole Kaczmarski

Sachem North/Lake Rononkoma, NY



Tamika Williams

Chaminade-Julienne/Dayton, OH

Univ. of Kansas Asst. Coach


Nikki Teasley

St. John's at Prospect Hall/Frederick, MD

Univ. of North Carolina Grad


Jamie Walz

Highlands/Ft. Thomas, KY

Highlands HS Coach


Stephanie McCarty

Seeger/West Lebanon, IN

Univ. of Toledo (Coach)


Monick Foote

Samford/Wilmington, DE



La'Keshia Frett

Phoebus/Hampton, VA

Univ. of Georgia (Coach)


Katie Smith

Logan/Logan, OH

Washington Mystics


Michelle Marciniak

Central Catholic/Allentown, PA

Univ. of S. Carolina (Coach)


Lisa Leslie

Morningside/Inglewood, CA

Los Angeles Sparks


Lisa Harrison

Southern/Louisville, KY

Retired from WNBA


Vicki Hall

Brebeuf Preparatory/Indianapolis, IN



Kris Durham

Union Catholic/Scotch Plains, NJ

Seton Hall Univ. Grad.


Susan Anderson

Mt. Baker/Deming, WA

Univ. of Texas Grad.

SOURCE Gatorade