Mitty’s UConn-bound Morgan Cheli shows versatility in McDonald’s All-American game

Morgan Cheli spent her high school career getting buckets and handing out assists in a stellar career for the San Jose private school juggernaut Archbishop Mitty.

She had a starring role on a team that won three consecutive Central Coast Section and NorCal Open titles. 

Playing on the home court of the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night, and going against the top high school players in the 2024 class, the do-everything guard did her thing in a start-and-stop game filled with fouls and isolation play. 

Cheli scored seven points and had three assists, three rebounds and a trio of steals in the McDonald’s All-American game as the West team fell to the East 98-74.

Her points came on a corner 3-pointer, a put back and a midrange jumper, and Cheli could have collected three or four additional assists had teammates knocked down another handful of open looks.  

The 6-foot-2 future UConn guard made her mark in a game that the many of her Final Four-bound teammates once suited up for. 

Cheli was the first Archbishop Mitty player to play in the game since Haley Jones participated in the 2019 edition, and third in program history (Rometra Craig in 2001) to be a McDonald’s All-American. 

“Morgan’s been a gym rat from a very early age and spent a lot of hours in her driveway, shooting with her dad,” Mitty coach Sue Phillips said earlier this season. “She came in as a really solid basketball player and our goal is to continue to move the needle and help her improve as a player, help her with her basketball IQ.”

Her inclusion made it two years in a row that a player from the Bay Area News Group’s coverage area participated in the preps all-star game. 

Former Heritage star Amanda Muse represented the Brentwood public school last year before joining UCLA. 

Cheli was named first-team all-Bay Area News Group in each of the past three seasons despite battling injuries during both her junior and senior years. 

The Los Altos native, who averaged 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds per game as a senior, is no stranger to shining on national television.

Morgan Cheli takes a picture with a representative from McDonald’s after accepting her McDonald’s All American jersey at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Morgan Cheli was selected from more than 729 nominees from across the country to play in the 2024 McDonald’s All American Games in Houston. (Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group) 

 

She played a huge role on a team that spent the majority of the season as ranked No. 1 in the country by MaxPreps. The San Jose powerhouse earned that title by taking down then-top-ranked Long Island Lutheran on ESPN, a game where Cheli gave the Monarchs the lead with two clutch free throws.  

Cheli’s next televised game should see her sharing court with 2020 McDonald’s All-American and current UConn superstar Paige Bueckers, who will return for a fifth season and is projected to be the top pick in the 2025 WNBA draft.

Watching her play and how versatile she is and how she fills up a stat sheet, that’s what I want to do,” Cheli told the Hartford Courant. “That’s what I feel like I can kind do as well just with my versatility, so I love watching her play.”

Cheli models her game after Bueckers, but her AAU coach Kelly Sopak sees similarities between the point guard and another former McDonald’s All-American he once coached at Miramonte. 

“I’ve even said this to Sabrina (Ionescu), that Morgan’s the closest player I’ve coached that’s mentally like Sabrina since Sabrina,” Kelly Sopak told the Bay Area News Group in January.

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