McDonald’s® USA Announces the 2022 Morgan Wootten Players of the Year for the McDonald’s All American Games
Originally published March 27, 2022 —
Being a McDonald’s All American Games athlete is about more than having the best stats or the most-viewed highlight reels – it’s about giving back and representing your community with integrity and pride. Continuing a long-standing tradition of excellence, the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee is proud to recognize Kira ‘Kiki’ Rice and Dereck Lively II as the recipients of the 2022 Morgan Wootten National Players of the Year Award. Rice and Lively were presented with the honor earlier today in front of family and fellow teammates. Both players will take the court on Tuesday, March 29 for the 45th annual McDonald’s All American Games in Chicago.
“My father—the late Coach Morgan Wootten—always valued the character of his players as much as their abilities on the court, which is why Kiki and Dereck are so deserving of this award,” said Joe Wootten, Chairman of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee. “During my dad's time as Selection Committee Chair, it was so important to him to elevate and recognize players for all the work they do in their communities. Over the years, character has become a true pillar of the Games – a defining trait that we look for in each player selected for the final roster of team.”
A standout two-sport athlete from Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., Kiki is nationally-ranked as the number two girls’ prospect in the Class of 2022. The 5’11” point guard is a two-time USA Basketball gold medalist and was previously named as the District of Columbia state player of the year in both basketball and soccer. In the community, Rice actively volunteers with numerous non-profits, including coaching at youth basketball camps and in recent years, supporting first responders by writing thank you notes for local hospitals to share words of encouragement during challenging times. As a future commit to UCLA, Rice becomes the 21st annual female winner, joining recent award recipients such as Azzi Fudd (2021), and Paige Bueckers (2020) along with pro-stars, like Breanna Stewart (2012) and Chiney Ogwumike (2010).
Derek Lively II
A 7’1” center and five-star recruit from West Chester, Pennsylvania, Dereck is widely ranked as the number one recruit in the Class of 2022. Lively’s game is marked by his athleticism and elite defensive ability that has led to a successful season at Westtown School in the Philadelphia metro area. Next season he will join the powerhouse Duke men’s basketball team where his work ethic and strong moral compass will help him elevate his natural-born leadership at the next level. Often described as the ‘hype man’ of his peers, Dereck’s positive energy and uplifting personality both contribute to his ability to achieve success on and off the court. Since the creation of the Player of the Year designation in 1997, Lively is the 26th recipient of the annual award joining the likes of previous winners Chet Holmgren (2021) and Evan Mobley (2020), along with some current pro-stars, like RJ Barrett (2018) and Lonzo Ball (2016).
“For the late nights, early mornings and drive to improve in all aspects of life, this award celebrates everything that’s great about this game and its players who give it their all to achieve success both on and off the court,” said Tariq Hassan, Chief Marketing and Digital Customer Experience Officer, McDonald’s USA. “Congratulations to Dereck and Kiki, whose tenacity on the basketball court and dedication to giving back are testaments to why they were selected. Their legacies will forever be etched in the McDonald’s All American Games record books, in this special way, as they continue excelling on the court while making a difference in their communities.”
The Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year Award was created in 1997 and is given annually to the best McDonald's All American girl and boy who exemplify outstanding character, exhibit leadership, and embody the values of being a good citizen in the classroom and the community. McDonald's established the award in honor of Morgan Wootten, the late chairman of the Games Selection Committee and Basketball Hall of Fame coach.