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Torin Francis, Massachusetts Student-Athlete, Named 2002 McDonald's® National High School Boy Basketball Player Of The Year

Future Notre Dame Player Receives Morgan Wootten Award

Mar 21, 2002

McDonald's announced today that Torin Francis of Marian, Mass., is the 2002 McDonald's National High School Boy Basketball Player of the Year. Francis was presented with the Morgan Wootten Award, a recognition given annually to the top scholar-athlete selected to participate in the McDonald's All American High School Basketball Game™.

The Morgan Wootten Award, presented to the national McDonald's high school basketball player of the year, recognizes the nation's top girl and boy seniors who demonstrate outstanding character, exhibit leadership, and embody the values of being a student-athlete in both his/her schoolwork and community affairs. Both players will be will be recognized today on ESPN's SportsCenter at 6 p.m. (EST).

Francis has led his basketball team to three straight appearances and two championships in the New England Class B Prep School Finals. He averages 29 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks per game.

For all of his accomplishments in basketball, Francis is no less impressive off the court. Francis is an honors student with a 3.0 grade average. Additionally, he is the senior class vice-president, sports editor of the school newspaper and currently taking college-level classes. He will attend Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., this fall.

"We established the McDonald's National Basketball Player of the Year Award in Morgan Wootten's name to both honor the top high school basketball student-athlete, and pay tribute to Wootten's unprecedented achievements as a teacher, mentor and coach," said Mike Donahue, Vice President, McDonald's U.S. Communications. "Torin Francis epitomizes the exceptional qualities that this award represents and we are honored to present it to him."

During his 43-year career as head basketball coach at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md., Wootten has earned a reputation for being both an excellent basketball coach and mentor. In addition to his five national high school championship titles, Wootten has the unique distinction of having every DeMatha senior player receive a four-year college scholarship for the past 30 years. Wootten has won more games in history than any other prep coach, surpassing the 1,000-victory mark in 1993. 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.

To celebrate the success and rich history of the Boys Game over the past 25 years, McDonald's is launching an all-star high school basketball Game for girls this year. And for the first time, Nicole Wolff of Walpole High School in Walpole, MA is the recipient of the Morgan Wootten Award as the McDonald's National High School Girl Basketball Player of the Year.

The first recipient of the Morgan Wootten Award in 1997 was Shane Battier from Country Day High School in Detroit, Mich., who now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies. Other past winners include Ronald Curry (North Carolina), Jason Williams (Duke), Chris Duhon (Duke) and Aaron Miles (Kansas).

McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer, with more than 29,000 restaurants serving more than 45 million people each day in 121 countries. Approximately 80 percent of McDonald's worldwide restaurants are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women.


SOURCE: McDonald's

Contact: Michon Ellis of McDonald's, +1-630-623-5508, , or Molly Hawkins of Golin/Harris, +1-312-729-4135,