Draft Prospect Profiles | A’ja Wilson

 

College: University of South Carolina
Class: Senior
Height: 6’5″
Position: Forward

NOTABLE
• National Player of the Year Candidate (2017-18)
• NCAA National Champion and NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (2016-17)
• Naismith Award Finalist (2016-17, 2015-16)
• Wooden Award Finalist (2016-17, 2015-16)
• Wade Trophy Finalist (2016-17, 2015-16)
• All-American First Team (2016-17, 2015-16)
• Four Time SEC Champion (2014-18)
• SEC Player of the Year (2017-18, 2016-17, 2015-16)
• SEC All-Defensive Team (2016-17, 2015-16)
• SEC Tournament MVP (2017-18, 2016-17)
• SEC Freshman of the Year (2014-15)
• USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year (2015)
• McDonald’s All-American (2014)
• South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year (2013-14)

AT FIRST GLANCE
South Carolina’s all-time leading scorer A’ja Wilson is a dominant power forward, holding the school record for points scored with 2,342. Wilson demands a double team and still gets work done in the paint. This season she is leading her team in scoring (22.6 ppg), rebounds (11.9 rpg), total points (700), total blocks (102), total rebounds (370), free throws made (175) and field goals made (260). During the NCAA Tournament in 2016-17, this team captain averaged 19.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game leading her team to its first ever national championship.

CAREER CAPSULE
2017-18: Averaging 22.6 ppg (leading in SEC) – 11.9 rpg (third in SEC) – 3.3 bpg (leading SEC) – 54.3 FG% – 73.2 FT% – 41.7% from behind the arc – started 27 out of 31 games played – 28-6 overall record.
2016-17: NCAA National Champion– averaged 19.2 ppg and 8.8 rpg in the NCAA Tournament – season average 17.9 ppg – 7.83 rpg – 58.8 FG% – 73.7 FT% – started all 35 games – ranked 14th in the nation in field goal percentage (third in SEC) and 19th in blocks (first in SEC) – scored in double figures 31 times – SEC Player of the Week (Mar. 2, 2017).
2015-16: Averaged 16.1 ppg – 8.7 rpg – 53.1 FG% – 72.3 FT% – All-American Selection – Finalist for three national player of the year awards – SEC Player of the Year – Defensive Player of the Year – led SEC in blocked shots (3.12) and field goal percentage (53.1) – team’s top scorer 15 times and top rebounder 14 times – second player in program’s history to reach 1000 career points as a sophomore – named MVP of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Showdown while recording 20.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 2.3 bpg – Four-time SEC Player of the Week.
2014-15: Averaged 13.1 ppg – 6.57 rpg – 53.8 FG% – 66.2 FT% – First Gamecock freshman to be named to the Third-Team All-American Team – SEC Freshman of the Year – First-Team All-SEC – tallied five double-doubles – led team in scoring 15 times and in rebounding nine times – Record-tying five-time SEC Freshman of the Week (Dec. 1, 2014, Dec. 8, 2014, Jan. 5, 2015, Feb. 2, 2015, Feb. 16, 2015) – AgSouth Athlete of the Week (Dec. 1, 2014) – USBWA National Freshman of the Week (Dec. 9,2014) – Junkanoo Jam Lucaya Division MVP honors, averaging 13.0 points and 8.0 rebounds.
International Play: 2015 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year – 2015 FIBA U19 World Champion and MVP – 2014 FIBA U18 Champion and MVP – 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Champion and MVP – 2013 USA Basketball U23 National Team.
High School: Attended Heathwood Hall Episcopal High School – Averaged 24.7 ppg – 13.9 rpg – 2.5 apg – 3.4 spg – 4.3 bpg – WBCA, Naismith and Parade Magazine Player of the Year in senior year of high school (2013-14) – Nation’s number one recruit by espnW HoopGurlz Class of 2014 coming from Heathwood Hall in Hopkins, South Carolina – 2014 South Carolina State Champions – Five-time South Carolina Independent School Association All-State Selection

PERSONAL
Wilson is a South Carolina native and daughter of Eva and Roscoe Wilson Jr. with an older brother, Renaldo. Her dad played professional basketball in Europe for 10 seasons and is credited for developing her basketball game making her practices last longer with weighted vests. She is majoring in Mass Communications at USC and while in high school she earned all-state honors in volleyball. Grandfather Roscoe C. Wilson was an active member during the civil rights movement as a minister at Saint John Baptist church, while her grandmother Ethel C. Wilson was a professor at Benedict College . A’ja is named after the 1977 jazz rock band album Aja by Steely Dan.