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Wilson Among Four Finalists for Wade Trophy
Women's Basketball  . 

Wilson Among Four Finalists for Wade Trophy

March 23, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. ââ’¬” South Carolina junior forward A’ja Wilson is one of four finalists for the 2017 Wade Trophy, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today. The prestigious award, regarded as “The Heisman of Women’s Basketball,” is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the WBCA. The other finalists are Napheesa Collier of UConn, Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State and Kelsey Plum of Washington, with the winner to be announced on Sat., April 1, in Dallas.

Wilson, the two-time reigning SEC Player of the Year, has been outstanding all season and continues to elevate her game every time the Gamecocks have needed her. Averaging 17.7 points and 7.6 rebounds on the season to lead South Carolina to its fourth-straight SEC regular-season championship, the 6-foot-5 forward has lifted her performance to 19.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game in the postseason, which includes the program’s third-straight SEC Tournament title and fourth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Sweet 16. With a career-high 12 20-point games this season, Wilson posted five of those against nationally ranked opponents and three since her frontcourt partner Alaina Coates has been out with injury. Three of Wilson’s nine double-doubles have come in the last month with South Carolina rallying to sweep the SEC titles again this season. In the three postseason games within single digits heading into the fourth quarter, including two in which the Gamecocks trailed at that point, she delivered the knockout punch, averaging 8.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in the final 10 minutes of those outings and shot 93.3 percent from the free throw line.

The Wade Trophy ââ’¬” now in its 40th year ââ’¬” is the oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award in college women’s basketball. It is named in honor of the late, legendary Delta State University head coach Lily Margaret Wade, who won three consecutive national championships with the Lady Statesmen. First awarded in 1978 by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), now known as SHAPE America, The Wade Trophy has been presented to the WBCA NCAA Division I National Player of the Year since 2001.

The No. 3/4 Gamecocks (29-4) continue their NCAA Tournament run this weekend when they face Quinnipiac in the Sweet 16 on Sat., March, 25 at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif. Tipoff between top-seeded Carolina and the 12th-seeded Bobcats is set for 4 p.m. ET.