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March 28, 2016


COLUMBIA, S.C. ââ’¬” South Carolina sophomore forward A’ja Wilson was named a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, the organization announced tonight on ESPNU. Wilson is just the second Gamecock to be named a finalist for the award, following the selection of guard Tiffany Mitchell in 2015. The Wooden Award will be announced as part of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s on ESPN2 on Fri., April 8, at 8 p.m. (ET).

The SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, Wilson led the Gamecocks with 16.1 points per game and a school-record 103 blocked shots. Behind 14 double-doubles, she also ranked among the SEC’s top five at 8.7 rebounds per game. A First-Team All-America selection by the Associated Press and ESPN, Wilson ranked among the nation’s best in blocks per game (12th, 3.12), double-doubles (29th, 14) and field goal percentage (39th, .531). She averaged 16.3 points on 54.5 percent shooting in SEC play, leading the Gamecocks to a perfect 16-0 regular-season record, and posted a team-best 18.0 points per game against ranked opponents this season (15 games), during which she also snagged 9.7 rebounds per game.

Created in 1976 by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the John R. Wooden Award program features the most prestigious individual honors in college basketball. The Wooden Award Trophy is bestowed annually upon the nation’s best male player and female player who have proven to their respective universities that they are making progress toward graduation while maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

Wooden Award Finalist
Rachel Banham, Minnesota
Moriah Jefferson, UConn
Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State
Breanna Stewart, UConn
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina