Wilson Named National Player of the Year
ATLANTA (February 26, 2014) - A'ja Wilson of Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, S.C., is the 2014 WBCA High School Player of the Year and headlines the 2014 WBCA High School All-America Team, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced today. Wilson, a 6-foot-4 senior forward who is averaging 35 points per game, remains undecided on where she will play collegiately, but has narrowed her choices to Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. She plans to pursue a degree in psychology. "Congratulations to A'ja for earning the top award for high school basketball players," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "She has set high standards for current and future high school student-athletes to pursue greatness in a game that is rapidly excelling. The WBCA wishes A'ja the best on her future in college and in the game of women's basketball, as several potential college programs are hoping that she will be a part of their team." Ariel Atkins; Duncanville; Duncanville, Tx.; Texas Sierra Calhoun; Christ the King; Brooklyn, NY; Duke Jordin Canada; Winward School; Los Angeles; UCLA Gabby Green; Saint Mary’s College; Oakland; California Alexis Jennings; Sparkman; Madison, Al.; Kentucky Alexa Middleton; Riverdale; Murfreesboro, Tn.; Tennessee Kelsey Mitchell; Princeton; Cincinnati; Ohio State Brianna Turner; Manvel; Pearland, Tx.; Notre Dame Jatarie White; Providence Day; Charlotte; South Carolina A’ja Wilson; Heathwood Hall; Hopkins;Undeclared “The 10 members of this year’s High School All-America Team have been great leaders for their teams and for the game of girls’ and women’s basketball as it continues to grow,” said Bass. The WBCA also announced that the WBCA High School All-America Game will not be played this year. Declining sponsorship revenue and the rising cost of operating the game was going to make it necessary for the WBCA to fund the game by redirecting money from services the association’s membership rate more highly. With the suspension of the game the WBCA decided to name 10 rather than 20 players as High School All-Americans to be consistent with the Coaches’ All-America teams in the collegiate divisions. “The decision to suspend the game, although difficult, was financially responsible and necessary,” said Bass. “We will explore the feasibility of reinstating the game in future years if new sponsorship revenues are made available.” Any graduating senior can be nominated for the WBCA High School All-America Team by a high school or AAU coach who is an active WBCA member. College coaches are not eligible to nominate a player for consideration. The 10-player All-America team and a 20-player honorable mention team are selected from the nominees by a selection committee composed of WBCA-member girls’ high school basketball coaches who represent nine geographical districts across the country. The 2014 selection committee is also composed of Brian Robinson (chair), Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School (N.C.); Eric Smith, Cicero-North Syracuse High School (N.Y.) Jody Patrick, Flint Hill School (Va.); Anthony Smith, Homewood-Flossmoor High School (Ill.); Jill Nagel, Rock Bridge High School (Mo.); Todd Monsey, Waco Midway High School (Texas); Carl Mattei, Regis Jesuit High School (Colo.); Kevin Kiernan, Mater Dei High School (Calif.); Angie Hembree, Nocross High School (Ga.); and Gary Glasscock, Metro High School (Mo.) who is past chair. Daniella Trujillo, WBCA manager of events, awards & office administration, is staff liaison to the committee. Here are the 20 players receiving 2014 WBCA High School All-America honorable mention: Name School Hometown Signed Diani Akibogun Regis Jesuit High School Aurora, CO Texas Nakiah Bell Incarnate Word Academy HS Florissant, MO Iowa State McKenzie Calvert Byron P. Steele II High School Schertz, TX USC Amarah Coleman Homewood-Flossmoor High School Bolingbrook, IL Illinois Mikayla Cowling Saint Mary’s College High School Benicia, CA California Kaydra Duckett Dreher High School Columbia, SC South Carolina Sadie Edwards Blair Academy High School Meriden, CT Connecticut Justine Hall Regis Jesuit High School Centennial, CO Purdue Kelli Hayes Archbishop Mitty High School San Jose, CA UCLA Chloe Jackson Riverdale Baptist High School Waldorf, MD N.C. State Kaylee Johnson Natrona County High School Casper, WY Stanford Haley Lorenzen Iowa City High School Iowa City, IA Florida Erin Mathias Fox Chapel High School Pittsburgh, PA Duke Brooke McCarty Clear Springs High School League City, TX Texas Mariya Moore Salesian High School Pleasant Hill, CA Louisville Alyssa Rice Reynoldsburg High School Reynoldsburg, OH Kentucky Taylor Rooks Gill St. Bernard’s School Warren, NJ Stanford Azura Stevens Cary High School Raleigh, NC Duke Shakayla Thomas Sylacauga High School Sylacauga, AL Florida State Victoria Vivians Scott Central High School Forest, MS Miss. State About the WBCA: Founded in 1981, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association promotes women’s basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.