Just one week after being named California’s Gatorade Player of the Year for the second straight season, Rancho Christian High School’s Evan Mobley won the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award. The Wootten Award is named after Coach Morgan Wootten, the only coach enshrined into the Hall of Fame that exclusively coached at the high school level. The award is given to the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game every year. Of course, the game was postponed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the event still decided to hand out the award.

Evan Mobley (4) is the No. 1 high school basketball player in the class of 2020 and is committed to attend and play for University of Southern California in November. Valley News/Jerry Soifer photo

“It’s just an honor to be listed among players such as LeBron James, Jabari Parker, people like that,” Mobley said recently on SportsCenter. “I’m very excited to be getting this award. Truly, it’s an honor.”

Collin Sexton, Zion Williamson, Blake Griffin and DeMar Derozan are also notable past winners of the Wootten award.

Mobley helped lead his school to a 22-8 record and into the Open Division playoffs this season while playing against a national schedule featuring foes from Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington and the best teams in California. The nearly 7-foot center out of Temecula was a member of the gold medal-winning 2019 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup team, and this year, he was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game, the Jordan Brand Classic and the Nike Hoop Summit, though those events have all been postponed or canceled. He was also a finalist for the Naismith High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year trophy.

Rancho Christian High School’s Evan Mobley is honored with the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award. Valley News/David Canales photo

Mobley, who is the younger of the basketball-playing Mobley brothers, is the No. 1 player in the ESPN and Top247.com rankings from the class of 2020 and is committed to University of Southern California in November after receiving offers from six other schools. He’s set to join his older brother Isaiah Mobley and father Eric Mobley, who is an assistant coach, at the university where the program won 22 games last season, finishing third in the Pac-12 standings.

When asked about dealing with staying at home during the current coronavirus crisis, he said the family is doing well.

“We’ve just been sitting around playing games, working out a lot and socially distancing,” Mobley said.

Jerry Meyer, director of basketball scouting at 247Sports.com, said of Mobley that he “has all the qualities of a big-time post prospect and is expected to be a high lottery pick and possible No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft.”

Watch Mobley on ESPN’s SportsCenter here – www.espn.com/video/clip?id=28981776&ex_cid=espnapi_affiliate_abcotv

JP Raineri can be reached via email at sports@reedermedia.com.


JP Raineri
JP Raineri

JP is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and head of the Sports Department for the Valley News. Over his time in the Temecula Valley, JP, a former Southwestern League head baseball coach, was also an on-air radio personality at Q103.3, KATY 101.3, Hot 103.9, and was a television host for the Outdoor Channel. When not covering local, or national sports, JP also serves as an Associate Baseball Scout with NSR.