South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson wins Naismith Women’s Basketball Player of the Year Award
To add onto an already prominent senior season, South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson was named the Naismith Women’s Basketball Player of the Year – her fifth Player of the Year honor this season.
Wilson joined Louisville’s Asia Durr as well as Uconn’s Katie Lou Samuelson and Gabby Williams on the list of finalists.
Wilson, who led the SEC in blocks (3.2 a game), was third in rebounding (11.2 per game), and the reigning champion South Carolina Gamecocks were eliminated from the NCAA tournament in the Elite Eight, shattering hopes of repeating their national championship run, but Wilson still enjoyed a record-breaking year.
This season, Wilson became the first three-time SEC player of the year and found herself in South Carolina’s record books, notching her 2,000th point and 1,000th rebound back in January. The senior is seventh in the nation in scoring, leading the Gamecocks with 22.6 per contest.
In addition to Player of the Year, Wilson unanimously headlined the 2018 AP All-American team, becoming just the seventh player in NCAA history to be named to the first team three times. She joins an exclusive bunch doing so, including former UConn Huskies Breanna Stewart and Maya Moore, as well as Baylor great Brittney Griner.
Wilson is in the running for the Wooden Award for Player of the Year and if she wins, that will make the fourth consecutive year there has been a unanimous player of the year.