Wilson Makes Wooden Award National Ballot

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina senior forward A’ja Wilson earned a spot on the 2018 National Ballot for the John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Saturday. It is the fourth time in as many seasons that the Hopkins, S.C., native has appeared on the ballot of 15 student-athletes eligible for the Wooden Award All-American Team and the Wooden Award Trophy as the most outstanding women’s college basketball player in the United States.

Wilson ranks among the nation’s top 10 in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots, and is the only player in the country to even rank in the top 40 of all three categories. She is peaking at the right time for the Gamecocks as she became the first Gamecock in 30 years to record a 20-point, 20-rebound game on her Senior Night against #24/- LSU on Feb. 22 and followed that with a 24-point, 12-rebound outing in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals against #12/12 Tennessee, during which she played just 19 minutes.

The hometown standout is the first-ever three-time SEC Player of the Year and the Gamecocks’ first four-time All-SEC First-Team selection. Wilson is just five points shy of Sheila Foster’s all-time scoring record at South Carolina, and, if she hits the mark tonight against #19/18 Georgia, she will have achieved the mark in one fewer game than Foster, who played for the Gamecocks 1979-82. Wilson and Foster are the only players in program history to record 2,000 career points and 1,000 rebounds with Wilson one of just 13 players in SEC history to hit those marks.

Voting for the Wooden Award All-American Team and the Wooden Award Trophy will take place from March 13-20, and voters, consisting of hundreds of members of the national college basketball media, take into considerations a player’s entire season of play as well as the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

The Wooden Award All-American Team, consisting of the nation’s top five players and the finalists for the Wooden Award, will be announced following the “Elite Eight” round of theNCAA Tournament and will be the focus of a 30-minute show on March 28 on ESPNU at 8 p.m. ET.

The 42nd annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award to the men’s and women’s most outstanding college basketball player will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s on ESPN2 on Fri., April 6, 2018.

No. 8/8 South Carolina continues play at the 2018 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament Saturday night in the semifinal round against No. 19/18 Georgia. Tipoff at Bridgestone Arena will be 25 minutes after the conclusion of the first semifinal, estimated to be around 7:15 p.m. on ESPNU.

2018 Wooden Award National Ballot

Kalani Brown, Baylor

Lexie Brown, Duke

Jordin Canada, UCLA

Napheesa Collier, UConn

Sophie Cunningham, Missouri

Asia Durr, Louisville

Megan Gustafson, Iowa

Sabringa Ionescu, Oregon
Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State

Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State

Arike Ogunbowale, Notre Dame

Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn

Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State

Gabby Williams, UConn
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina

Gamecocks Athletics contributed to this article.