USA

UConn commit Morgan Cheli stars

Morgan Cheli spent his high school career getting buckets and dishing out assists in a standout career for San Jose private school juggernaut Archbishop Mitty.

She played a leading role on a team that won three straight Central Coast Section and NorCal Open titles.

Playing on the Houston Rockets’ court Tuesday night and going up against the best high school players in the 2024 class, the do-it-all guard did her thing in a start-up, stop-start game filled with fouls and isolation plays.

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

His points came on a corner 3-pointer, a putback and a mid-range jumper, and Cheli could have had three or four assists if his teammates had knocked down another handful of open looks.

The 6-foot-2 future UConn guard made her mark in a game that many of her Final Four-bound teammates once adapted to.

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

“Morgan has been a gym enthusiast since a young age and spent many hours in her driveway, shooting with her father,” Mitty coach Sue Phillips said earlier this season. “She came in as a very solid basketball player and our goal is to continue to make things happen and help her improve as a player, help her with her basketball IQ.”

His inclusion made it two consecutive years that a player from the Bay Area News Group’s coverage area appeared in the prep all-star game.

Former Heritage star Amanda Muse represented Brentwood Public School last year before joining UCLA.

Cheli was named first team All-Bay Area News Group in each of the last three seasons despite suffering injuries during 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 photo with a McDonald’s representative after accepting her McDonald’s All American jersey at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Morgan Cheli was selected from more than 729 applicants from all the country. participate 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 ranked No. 1 in the nation by MaxPreps. Powerhouse San Jose won that title by beating then-top-ranked Long Island Lutheran on ESPN, a game where Cheli put the Monarchs ahead with two clutch free throws.

Cheli’s next televised game is expected to see her share the court with 2020 McDonald’s All-American and current UConn superstar Paige Bueckers, who will return for a fifth season and is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2025 WNBA draft.

Watching her play, seeing 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 do so well with my versatility, so I love watching her play.”

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

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

California Daily Newspapers

Back to top button