A'ja Wilson selects USC: 'There's no place like home' - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

A'ja Wilson selects USC: 'There's no place like home'


National High School Player of the Year and Heathwood Hall senior A'ja Wilson has elected to play college basketball with the University of South Carolina.

The televised announcement came shortly after 3:30 p.m. and ended months of speculation about where she would land.

"There's no place like home," said Wilson.

In all, Wilson received recruiting overtures from South Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut, and North Carolina.

Wilson was named the number one college basketball recruit in the country by various publications.

USC coach Dawn Staley tweeted a short but very effective statement on Twitter just shortly after Wilson's announcement.

"BOOM!!!!" it said.

Wilson recalled one of the first times she ever met Staley.

"I'll never forget my first time at a position camp she said, 'A'ja Wilson, I will remember the name,' so that's when she first started recruiting me and it's just been a lot of fun. She's easy to talk to, I can call her up any time, so that really was her pitch: just being herself." said Wilson.

The addition of Wilson improved the Gamecocks' recruiting class ranking to No. 2 in the nation.

"I am overjoyed with A'ja and her family joining our Gamecock family," Staley said. "She represents South Carolina on so many levels, and we're so glad the entire state will see her career unfold on our campus. It truly is a great day to be a Gamecock, and there's no place like home."

The top recruit of the class, Wilson capped her high school career by leading Heathwood to the independent schools Class AAA state title.

The 6-foot-5 post player averaged 34.4 points, 13.9 rebounds and 5.0 blocks en route to a treasure trove of accolades including Naismith National High School Player of the Year and WBCA Player of the Year and Parade Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

She was named to the USA Today's All-USA Girls Basketball Team and posted 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in the McDonald's All-America game in Chicago earlier this month.

Wilson was one of just three players from the Class of 2014 selected for the USA Basketball U19 World Championship team. She averaged 10.9 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds in helping that team to a gold medal.

Wilson joins a recruiting class already ranked fourth in the nation with Doniyah Cliney (Newark, N.J./Malcolm X Shabazz), Bianca Cuevas (Bronx, N.Y./Nazareth Regional), Kaydra Duckett (Columbia, S.C./Dreher) and Jatarie White (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day), who signed in the fall.

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