Senior Courtney Ogden is named a McDonald’s All American


Senior Courtney Ogden was named a McDonald’s All-American. The 2023 McDonald’s All-American Girls game will air on March 28th at 6:30 PM ET on ESPN2 in Houston, Texas (credit to Stanford Athletics)

As the varsity girls basketball team’s season comes to a close, many seniors will be stepping onto the court for their very last time. Courtney Ogden, the senior phenom, is one of these players wrapping up her last season on the varsity girls’ basketball team. Ogden averages 21.9 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game, 3 assists per game, and 1 block per game. Furthermore, Ogden shoots 50 percent from two points and 88 percent from the free throw line. Ogden has set many school records, including the most points in a game for both boys and girls, most points in a season, and just recently became the all-time scorer in Wildcat history. Due to her hard work and stellar performance on the court, Ogden has earned numerous accolades; however, none are more notable than her McDonald’s All American Award.

The McDonald’s All American Award is based on career portfolio, character references, and both athletic and academic performance. In fact, the press announcement for the award describes it as “the culmination of hard work and determination spanning many years of a constant grind in the gym to become one of basketball’s elite.” 

Out of 700 girls nominated nationally, only 24 are chosen as All Americans. To put it into perspective, the NCAA estimates that roughly 400,000 girls play basketball each year in the U.S., meaning that Ogden is in the top 0.006 percent.

As a McDonald’s All American, Ogden will also be participating in the All American Game this March, playing with and against the top players in the country.

“This is no different than any other game,” said Ogden. “I’m just going to continue to work hard until I get there. I don’t want people to pass me. My main focus is just getting better and better and things will work out how they’re supposed to.”

Ogden started playing basketball when she was in second grade, living in Charlotte, North Carolina. When she was in just sixth grade, Ogden was already playing up leagues with seniors in high school. 

Despite her success, her journey to the top was challenging. Ogden routinely practices in order to improve and succeed. While playing on the Westminster team from October to March and an FBC travel team from April to September, Ogden practices six days a week. Even in her spare time, she continues to practice with her dad at their home court and gym and, once weekly, with her trainer Dorian Lee. 

“I’ll usually stay late or come early to shoot,” said Ogden. “ I also try to lift more often to improve my strength.” 

Although extensive, Ogden’s practice is methodical and is done with a purpose. It is essential to Ogden that when she’s practicing with a basketball on the court, she has someone with her to give her pointers.

“When I’m practicing with my dad, he’ll notice things that I need to correct,” said Ogden. “Without him, I might not have noticed the things that I need to change to get better.”

Ogden keeps her  energy up throughout the day by staying hydrated with 2 or 3 electrolyte immune-boosting drinks that her mom makes. Furthermore, in order to fuel Ogden’s active lifestyle, she has to eat more food to fuel her body. Odgen says it’s important to eat balanced meals instead of snacks as an athlete.

Even though Courtney’s sophomore and junior seasons were shortened due to the pandemic and breaking her ankle, Ogden achieved the all-time scoring record at Westminster after 78 games, which is 50 games less than the previous record-holder.

During the pandemic, Ogden practiced every day for three hours at her home court and gym. Because of her hard work, it was easy for Ogden to return to the fast-paced game of basketball when the pandemic subsided. Unfortunately, an accident in July 2021 kept her from playing much of her junior season at Westminster. Ogden underwent surgery and numerous physical therapy sessions to return to the court. 

As a senior, Ogden recommends two things for up-and-coming basketball players. 

“I’ve always been told that there’s always a spot for a shooter, so if you can shoot a basketball, you’ll always be considered good,” said Ogden.  “Secondly, for workout purposes, don’t go into a workout just shooting. Go into a workout having a plan for what you need to accomplish, so you can be efficient and in tune with what you’re doing. You don’t want to waste time and not get better.”

Due to her hard work, Ogden has received numerous college offers, her first coming in sixth grade from Georgia Tech. As a sophomore, Ogden received an offer from Stanford University. Stanford’s women’s basketball team has won 3 national championships, 25 Pac-12 Championships, 15 Pac-12 Tournament Championships, has 15 Final Four Appearances, and is currently ranked fourth in the nation. Although it took her some time to commit to Stanford, Ogden believes Stanford is the perfect fit for her. When asked, Ogden said she is most excited about working with the best players and coaches from around the world. She is also looking forward to living in California and being challenged by Stanford’s top level education.  After college, Ogden hopes to go pro in the WNBA and play for the Las Vegas Aces.

ESPN and scouts are not the only ones who sing Ogden’s praise; her teammates continue to hold her in high regards.

“Courtney is obviously very skilled but even more than that she’s always very poised and composed on the court,” said senior teammate Kiera Staude. “She’s the best player I’ve played with, but she’s also the most humble. She has an extremely high basketball IQ, so she’s always thinking about what the team needs next and what’s necessary to succeed.”

Edited by James Rhee