The Wooden Award is Presented Annually to the Outstanding High School & College Basketball Players of the Year
Linfield Christian’s Sydney Moran has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 CIFSS Division 5 Wooden Award Girls’ High School Player of the Year. Founded in 1976, the Wooden Award is presented annually to the outstanding collegiate and High School basketball players of the year.
Sydney will be presented her award on April 12, in conjunction with the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s, held at The Novo by Microsoft at LA Live. This year marks the 43rd anniversary of the Wooden Award, and the high school winners will be honored along with the men’s and women’s Wooden All American teams and the Legends of Coaching honoree, Lon Kruger of the University of Oklahoma.
“When I read all the names that have been attached to the Wooden award, I was in disbelief” said Sydney. “I never imagined having my name attached to such a prestigious award. For me being named a John Wooden award recipient is right up there with winning the first CIF championship in school history, but it goes much deeper than that. Throughout my high school career, I’ve had the opportunity to go to much more prestigious high schools every year because of my abilities on the court”.
“It was always somewhere far away from my family, and I never had a good feeling about it. My heart always told me just to stay put. I’m so glad that I did, and I couldn’t be more proud than to win this prestigious award in a Linfield Christian uniform. We’ve always been told, if you’re a good player, they will find you. Although it hasn’t really worked out that way yet, I won’t give up until I accomplish my goal of obtaining a basketball scholarship”.
Moran led Linfield Christian to the CIF Southern Section Division 5 Championship. A career 72% free throw shooter, Sydney ended her High School career with 1,488 points, 144 assists, 206 steals, and over 240 rebounds.
She became Linfield Christian’s all time scoring leader this season, breaking the previous record by over 200 points. Moran ended up with 523 total points for a 17.7 average. She was selected as to the First team All League all four years, and was voted the 2019 Small school player of the year.
A deeply religious girl, Sydney’s life at Linfield Christian as not been just about basketball. “An experience at Linfield that has had a huge impact on my life has been being part of the mission team. I’ve had the opportunity to go to Mexico with a group of students and teachers from my school and build homes for families who have nothing. Handing the keys of a brand new small home to a family with children who have been sleeping outside every night, and seeing the joy in their eyes is an unbelievable feeling that I can’t describe”.
“During breaks while building homes in Mexico we play with all the children in the village. It’s amazing to see how much fun they have without really having anything. Just our company and playing with us meant the world to them. It was during the few hours we had to play with the kids out there that I realized something. I realized that the kids were just surviving, and because they had no choice but to focus on just surviving, they were never going to have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. That’s what crushed my heart the most. It was then that I realized how blessed I was”.
“So ultimately, I owe all my parents and the glory to God for being given the ability to win this award. My parents have made and continue to make so many sacrifices for me and my brother. They are raising us with a lot of love, blessings, stability, and mentorship so that we don’t have to worry about surviving, and can concentrate on achieving our goals, and pursuing our dreams”.
2019 Wooden Award Girls’ High School Players of the Year Winners
Hayley Berfield,Granada Hills Charter High School, CIF LA City Section
Charisma Osborne,Windward School, CIFSS Open Division
Alexis Whitfield, Chaminade High School, CIFSS Division I
Jazlen Green, Lakeside High School, CIFSS Division II
Londynn Jones, Santiago High School, CIFSS Division III
Autumn Rivera, Northview High School, CIFSS Division IV
Photos by Scott Padgett