COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - For months now, A'ja Wilson has been projected to go first in this year's WNBA Draft to the Las Vegas Aces.
That moment finally became a reality in New York as Wilson was the first to make her way on stage during the WNBA Draft seeing another dream she's had for so long finally realized.
Wilson led the Gamecocks this past season averaging more than 22 points and 11 rebounds per game. The three-time SEC Player of the Year went on to sweep the national player of the year awards last week. Wilson picked up the Wade Trophy, the AP Women's College Basketball Player of the Year Award, the Naismith Trophy, and the Wooden Award making her the consensus national player of the year.
During her time at South Carolina, the Gamecocks won three consecutive regular-season championships and four straight conference tournament titles.
Now, Wilson will have the chance to set her sights on another award. Should Wilson's success on the hardwood continue, she could add to her trophy collection and the WNBA Rookie of the Year giving Carolina back-to-back award winners in that category. Wilson's former teammate, Allisha Gray, won the award last season in her first year with the Dallas Wings.
The chance to win that award right now isn't completely what Wilson is focused on. Even with all of her experience in the game of basketball, Wilson is ready to learn how to become even better in her first year as a professional basketball player.
"It's a lot that I need to take care of," Wilson said. "Whether it's using my right hand more, expanding my game, learning how to read defenses, there are a bunch of things."
The Las Vegas Aces open regular season play on May 20 at the Mohegan Sun Arena against the Connecticut Sun.