A’Ja Wilson hasn’t decided on a college. She’s looking at North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Connecticut. Before she makes that choice, however, the 6-3 senior power forward would rather concentrate on leading Heathwood Hall (Columbia, S.C.) to the South Carolina Independent School Association AAA girls basketball title title.
Though Wilson was the state’s Player of the Year the past two seasons, she’s still looking for her first state title after Heathwood lost in the AAA finals last season. She has lifted her scoring average to 34.5 points a game, nearly 13 points a game more than last season. Wilson benefited from playing for Team USA U19 team this past summer. Though she was the youngest player on the team, she led the squad in rebounds and blocks.
Until April, when the postseason ALL-USA girls basketball team will be announced, we’re taking a look at those who have either backed up the preseason hype or played their way into ALL-USA consideration.
This Week’s Player: Heathwood Hall (Columbus, S.C.) senior power forward A’Ja Wilson
2013-14 Stats: Wilson is averaging 34.5 points, 14.3 rebounds, 5.0 blocks, 3.1 steals and 2.0 assists a game.
Best Games: On Tuesday, despite being double-teamed, she had 20 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks in a 64-51 loss to No. 5 New Hope Christian (Thomasville, N.C.). When Wilson sat out with an injury in January, New Hope Christian defeated Heathwood Hall by 72 points. In a 90-49 defeat of Hammond (Columbia) on Jan. 21, she had 43 points, including a three-pointer from halfcourt, 16 rebounds and three assists.
Others’ Take: “I think her ability to handle the ball and play like a guard started in the fifth grade when she wasn’t that tall. She’s very laid-back. Not a whole lot gets to her. After playing international ball this summer with the best players at the collegiate level, I’ve seen a lot more mental toughness from her, not just physical toughness.” – John O’Cain, Heathwood Hall coach.
Look Out For: Manvel, Texas, power forward Brianna Turner, who is averaging 20.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists a game, leading her team to a 34-2 record and No. 13 ranking.
Also Look Out For: Long Beach Poly power forward LaJahna Drummer, who has led her team to a 22-2 record and No. 9 ranking while averaging 9.8 points and 6.3 rebounds.