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A'ja Wilson Wins 2018 Wade Trophy
Women's Basketball  . 

A'ja Wilson Wins 2018 Wade Trophy

March 29, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina senior forward A’ja Wilson continued to collect accolades for her 2017-18 season, adding the Wade Trophy, presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Wilson headlines the WBCA NCAA Div. I Coaches’ All-America team, which includes honorable mention status for Gamecock sophomore guard Tyasha Harris.

A’ja is a special player and person and a perfect ambassador for women’s basketball,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “I’ve had the honor of watching her grow into the player she is today much longer than most watchers of women’s basketball, and it is one of the greatest joys of my career. No one is more deserving of the Wade Trophy than A’ja because she has worked her entire career to become the best player in women’s basketball. Every accolade that A’ja receives is a testament to her contribution to the game of women’s basketball.”

After being a finalist for the primary national player of the year awards — Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award — each of the past three seasons, Wilson became the first Gamecock to bring home one of the awards with her selection at Thursday’s press conference. She is the fifth SEC player to win the award, joining Daedra Charles (Tennessee, 1991), DeLisha Milton (Florida, 1997), Seimone Augustus (LSU, 2005 and 2006) and Candace Parker (Tennessee, 2007).

Wilson’s senior season has been one for the Gamecock record books as she became the program’s all-time leading scorer (2,389) and just the second player in program history to amass 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career, joining Sheila Foster (1979-82). She is the program’s top scorer in SEC action with 1,020 career points in regular-season conference games and holds overall career records in free throws made (597), free throw attempts (835) and blocked shots (363).

In her final campaign, Wilson led the SEC and ranked seventh in the nation with 22.6 points per game, including 21 games of at least 20 points. She posted 24 double-doubles in her 33 games played, scoring in double figures in all but one outing. She broke her own program single-season blocked shots record, swatting away 105 this season to rank fifth in the nation with 3.2 blocks per game. Her 11.8 rebounds per game are 11th in the nation this season and rank fifth in program history.

Since Wilson joined the Gamecocks for the 2014-15 season, South Carolina posted a 129-16 record. That mark includes a 57-7 slate in SEC action to account for three SEC regular-season championships and one second-place finish, and a 44-13 record against nationally ranked opponents.

Harris was the Gamecocks’ floor general this season, earning Second-Team All-SEC honors after leading the league with 6.1 assists per game. Challenged by her head coach to lift her scoring average this season, the point guard did just that, netting 10.4 points per game on 41.8 percent field goal shooting. She posted double-figure points 19 times in 36 games, including six games in which she also handed out double-figure assists.

South Carolina finished the 2017-18 season with a 29-7 record, advancing to the NCAA Elite 8 as the No. 2 seed in the Albany Region of the tournament. The Gamecocks’ 12-4 SEC record was good for second place in the conference, and they went on to claim their SEC-record fourth-consecutive SEC Tournament championship.

WBCA Coaches’ All-America Team
Kalani Brown, Baylor
Asia Durr, Louisville
Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon
Teaira McCowan, Missisippi State
Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State
Arike Orgunbowale, Notre Dame
Katie Lou Samuelson, Connecticut
Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State
Gabby Williams, Connecticut
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina

All-America Honorable Mention
Kristina Anigwe, California
Ariel Atkins, Texas
Jill Barta, Gonzaga
Kenisha Bell, Minnesota
Monique Billings, UCLA
Allazia Blockton, Marquette
Lexie Brown, Duke
Tyra Buss, Indiana
Jordin Canada, UCLA
Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M
Kaila Charles, Maryland
Napheesa Collier, Connecticut
Lauren Cox, Baylor
Sophie Cunningham, Missouri
G’mrice Davis, Fordham
Katelynn Flaherty, Michigan
Loryn Goodwin, Oklahoma State
Rebecca Greenwell, Duke
Marie Gulich, Oregon State
Megan Gustafson, Iowa
Tyasha Harris, South Carolina
Ruthy Hebard, Oregon
Myisha Hines-Allen, Louisville
Maria Jespersen, South Florida
Kitija Laksa, South Florida
Marina Mabrey, Notre Dame
Stephanie Mavunga, Ohio State
Brooke McCarty, Texas
Brittany McPhee, Stanford
Jaime Nared, Tennessee
Kia Nurse, Connecticut
Caliya Robinson, Georgia
Mercedes Russell, Tennessee
Tyler Scaife, Rutgers
Jessica Shepard, Notre Dame
Azura Stevens, Connecticut
Shakayla Thomas, Florida State
Hallie Thome, Michigan
Carlie Wagner, Minnesota
Kristy Wallace, Baylor
Morgan William, Mississippi State
Imani Wright, Florida State