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Media Statements

McDonald’s U.S. President Joe Erlinger’s statement on the passing of basketball legend Morgan Wootten

January 22, 2020
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Our sympathy and sincerest condolences are with the entire Wootten family. Morgan made an indelible mark on the sport of basketball and leaves behind an enduring legacy with the McDonald’s All American Games.  

Morgan’s influence on basketball was nothing short of legendary. It was his passion for coaching that paved the way for the McDonald’s All American Games to recognize the best high school basketball talent in the country. Since 1978, Morgan championed emerging basketball stars and helped girls and boys realize their dreams. His leadership and character is why the Player of the Year is honored each year with the ‘Morgan Wootten Award’.

For more than 40 years Morgan was an incredible partner and maintained his commitment to the Games, serving as chairman of the Selection Committee. He impacted generations of players and the game of basketball is better because of him. I had the honor of meeting Morgan at the Games a few years ago and was impressed by his dedication to helping young athletes grow both on and off the court.

His son and daughter-in-law, Joe and Terri Lynn, continue his lasting legacy with the McDonald’s All American Games and for that we are truly thankful. - Joe Erlinger, President, McDonald’s USA