Austin Rivers, the #1 college basketball recruit in the nation (headed to Duke) was named winner of the 2011 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award today for his 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, the Head Coach of the Boston Celtics, currently seeded #2 in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, 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.).
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.
“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.”
“I’ve always had a fire because when I was little I was known as Doc Rivers son, and that really kind of bothered me- so I was just determined to become my own person and make my own name, and now that I am I’m hoping that one day they’ll come up to him and say, hey I heard you’re Austin Rivers’ Dad,” Rivers the Younger said.
Rivers will be paired in the Blue Devils backcourt next year with either incoming freshman Quinn Cook, a fellow McDonald’s All-American or superstar Kyrie Irving, should the freshman decide to come back to Durham next year.
“everything, Quinn is the best passer in our class, he knows how to play the game,” Rivers said.
“And Kyrie is Kyrie, you guys have seen him play- one of the best guards in the nation right now, unfortunate with the injury. And if he goes I’ll support him, if not it would be great, cuz I get to play with him.”
Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports
He does a weekly radio segment on Chicagoland Sports Radio.com and Cleveland.com
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