A'ja Wilson

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A'ja Wilson
No. 22 – Las Vegas Aces
Position Power forward
League WNBA
Personal information
Born (1996-08-08) August 8, 1996 (age 22)
Hopkins, South Carolina
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Career information
High school Heathwood Hall Episcopal
(Columbia, South Carolina)
College South Carolina (2014–2018)
WNBA draft 2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Las Vegas Aces
Playing career 2018–present
Career history
2018–present Las Vegas Aces
Career highlights and awards

A'ja Riyadh Wilson (born August 8, 1996)[1] is an American professional basketball player for the Las Vegas Aces of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Wilson played for the South Carolina Gamecocks in college, and helped lead the Gamecocks to their first NCAA Women's Basketball Championship in 2017, and won the NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player award. In 2018, she won a record 3rd straight SEC Player of the Year award, led South Carolina to a record 4th straight SEC Tournament Championship, became the all-time leading scorer in South Carolina women's basketball history, and was a consensus first-team All-American for the 3rd consecutive season. Wilson swept all National Player of the Year awards (Wade, AP, Honda, USBWA, Wooden, and Naismith) as the best player in Women's College basketball for 2018. Wilson was the first overall pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft.

Personal life

Wilson was born to Roscoe and Eva Wilson. Her father played basketball professionally in Europe for 10 seasons. She graduated from Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in 2014. She attended the University of South Carolina, majoring in Psychology. She represented the Gamecocks as a forward in basketball.[2] She completed her Senior year at South Carolina. Wilson is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

High school

Throughout Wilson's high school career she played a total of 119 games. She averaged 24.7 points, 13.9 rebounds, and 4.3 blocks a game throughout her high school career. She was number 22 and played as a forward.[3] After finishing as a runner-up in her junior year, Wilson led Heathwood Hall to the 2014 state championship as a senior. She won the National High School player of the year in 2014, was a Parade and McDonald's All-American, and was the #1 rated ESPN HoopGurlz prospect in 2014.[4] Wilson chose to stay home, and committed to play for Dawn Staley at the University of South Carolina.

College career

Wilson played in 37 games her freshmen year, leading to 4 single game freshmen records in the SEC and 3 single season freshmen records in the SEC, and won the SEC Freshman of the year award.[5] In 2016 as a Sophomore she would win her first SEC Player of the year ward and was a consensus All-American, Wilson led the Gamecocks to a SEC regular season and Tournament Championship. In 2017 Wilson once again led the Gamecocks to a SEC regular season and Tournament championship, and went on to win the schools first National Championship with a stirring victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the championship game. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.[6] In 2018, Wilson had her best season statistically, and won all of the National player of the year awards. She won a record 3rd straight SEC Player of the Year award, and was also a Consensus All-American for the 3rd straight year. Wilson finished her college career at South Carolina as the all-time leading scorer for the school.

South Carolina statistics

Statistics courtesy NCAA Statistics[7]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2014-15 South Carolina 37 486 53.8% 33.3% 66.2% 6.6 1.0 0.9 1.8 13.1
2015-16 South Carolina 33 530 53.1% 0.0% 72.3% 8.7 1.4 0.8 3.1 16.1
2016-17 South Carolina 35 626 58.8% 0.0% 73.7% 7.8 1.4 1.2 2.6 17.9
2017-18 South Carolina 33 747 54.2% 41.7% 73.2% 11.8 1.7 1.0 3.2 22.6
Career 138 2389 55.0% 37.5% 71.5% 8.7 1.4 1.0 2.6 17.3

Professional career

WNBA

In 2018, Wilson was drafted first overall by the Las Vegas Aces. On May 20, 2018, in her career debut, Wilson scored 14 points along with 10 rebounds in a 101-65 loss to the Connecticut Sun.[8][9] On June 12, 2018, Wilson scored a career-high of 35 points along with 13 rebounds in a 101-92 overtime victory against the Indiana Fever, becoming the second rookie in league history to score 35 points and grab 10 rebounds.[10]

Awards and honors

WNBA

  • WNBA All-Star (2018)

College

High School

  • National High School Player of the Year (WBCA, Naismith, Parade) (2014)
  • McDonald's All-America (2013-14)
  • Parade All-America (2013-14)
  • Gatorade South Carolina Girls Basketball Player of the Year (2013-2014)

References

  1. ^ "South Carolina Gamecock". South Carolina Gamecocks. University of South Carolina. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "A'ja Wilson Bio University of South Carolina Official Athletic Site". www.gamecocksonline.com. Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  3. ^ "A'ja Wilson's High School Girls Basketball Stats". MaxPreps.com. Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  4. ^ "HoopGurlz -- South Carolina Gamecocks get commitment from A'ja Wilson, No. 1 prospect in espnW HoopGurlz Top 100 for 2014 recruiting class". espnW. Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  5. ^ "SEC women's basketball awards announced". SECsports.com. Retrieved 1 May 2018. 
  6. ^ "Women's Final Four: South Carolina beats Mississippi State to win first national title". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2017-04-03. 
  7. ^ "NCAA Statistics". web1.ncaa.org. Retrieved 2018-03-26. 
  8. ^ Mohegan Sun Arena Sunday, May 20, 2018
  9. ^ A'ja Wilson delivers double-double in WNBA debut
  10. ^ A'ja Wilson hits historic mark a few games in to WNBA rookie season
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