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A'ja Wilson named WNBA Player of the Year

A'ja Wilson averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and two blocks this year for the Aces
Credit: AP
Las Vegas Aces' A'ja Wilson passes against the Washington Mystics (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS — South Carolina Gamecocks legend A'ja Wilson has been selected The Associated Press WNBA player of the year.

The former No. 1 overall pick three years ago led the Aces to an 18-4 record during the shortened season and the top seed in the WNBA playoffs that begin Tuesday in Bradenton, Florida. 

Wilson averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and two blocks this year for the Aces and views herself as a more all-around player now.

“I feel like I’m a more complete player now then when I first got into the league,” Wilson said in an online interview. “Even when I may not be shooting the ball well, I can find other ways to help my team win.”

Wilson, a native of Columbia, South Carolina, became a three-time All-America at South Carolina, leading the team to the 2017 National Championship and was the unanimous national player of the year as a senior.

She's also the Gamecocks all-time leading scorer and became the first player ever to be named SEC Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons.  

Wilson is the first Gamecock to be picked number one in the WNBA Draft.

Wilson's teammate Dearica Hamby, was the AP's sixth woman of the year for the second consecutive season.

Candace Parker of Los Angeles earned defensive player of the year honors while Minnesota's Crystal Dangerfield was selected as the rookie of the year. The Lynx's Cheryl Reeve was chosen as the coach of the year. Seattle's Breanna Stewart was selected as the comeback player of the year and Atlanta’s Betnijah Laney as most improved player. Players were selected by a 16-member media panel that votes on the weekly AP power poll.