GREENVILLE, SC - Great athletes always have something that's pushing them to be the best they can be. For USC junior forward A'ja Wilson her grandmother has been her motivation to be great this season.
This year has been an emotional one for Wilson. Her grandmother past away before the season started. Wilson has a tattoo of her name on her arm and another way Wilson honored her late grandmother was with her play this season.
"I love her so much," Wilson said after USC's 59-49 win over Mississippi State in the SEC final. "She was 95. She lived a great life. She was my mentor, my best friend, my listener."
Her grandmother was a supporter of Wilson's athletic career from a distance sort of speak but the love is always there.
"She only came to one game and that was my freshman year. She doesn't like to see me play because she says the girls are beating up on me too much. So she was probably closing her eyes somewhere but she's up in heaven looking down on me and I just appreciate her so much."
The Heathwood Hall product won the SEC player of the year for the second year in a row, is up national awards like the Naismith Trophy and the Wooden Award and won the SEC tournament MVP award on Sunday as USC won it's third straight SEC tournament title. It's all been for family.
"I'm just playing for my grandmother. I lost her in October. She was my best friend. Just to have this win, I really dedicated that game to her, for us to win it really meant the world to me," Wilson added.
Wilson and the Gamecocks will enjoy spring break this week before getting ready for the big dance in the NCAA tournament.
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