A’ja Wilson Set For Return To South Carolina with Aces For Preseason Game

“It’s my dream to be able to go back to the place where it all started and showcase what my skills are now.”

     – A’ja Wilson

The Las Vegas Aces announced today that they will play a preseason game against the Puerto Rico National Team at Colonial Life Arena on Saturday, May 11. Hosted by ProHoops Sports & Events, the game will mark a homecoming for the 2018 consensus NCAA Player of the Year and two-time WNBA M’VP A’ja Wilson, who led the Gamecocks to their first NCAA Championship in 2017.

Tickets for the game, which tips at 1 PM at Colonial Life Arena, start at $20 and go on sale at 12 PM on March 3 via Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are available online only on March 3, which is the first day of the general public on sale. Any remaining tickets for any event following the first day of general public ticket sales will be available for purchase online at ticketmaster.com and at the Prisma Health Box Office on the next ticket Tuesday.

“I’m excited and can’t wait to return to Columbia with my Aces team,” said Wilson, South Carolina’s first No. 1 WNBA Draft pick. “It’s my dream to be able to go back to the place where it all started and showcase what my skills are now. This means the world to me, and I’m very much looking forward to it.” “What a recognition of our city and our FAMS for the two-time WNBA Champion Las Vegas Aces to create a special event here in Columbia,” said South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley. “Obviously, we’re excited to see A’ja play on her former home court at Colonial Life Arena again, but we also love to see this kind of creative decision-making that allows our sport to continue to grow on all levels.”

In addition to Wilson, the back-to-back WNBA Champion Aces roster also features three-time WNBA champions Alysha ClarkChelsea Gray and Candace Parker; and two-time W champs Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, Kiah Stokes, Sydney Colson and Kierstan Bell. The Aces are coached by Naismith and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Becky Hammon. Puerto Rico is one of 12 nations that will feature in the 2024 Paris Olympic women’s basketball tournament this summer, and the team will use this exhibition as part of its training in the lead-up to its second-straight Olympic berth.

In Wilson’s four years at South Carolina, the Gamecocks compiled a 129-16 (.890) record, won the 2017 NCAA Tournament, advanced to the 2015 NCAA Final Four, 2018 Elite Eight and 2016 NCAA Sweet 16, while capturing three SEC regular season titles and four SEC Tournament crowns. In addition to being named the consensus National Player of the Year as a senior, Wilson was the 2017 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, a three-time All-America first team selection and three times earned SEC Player of the Year honors.

The game against Puerto Rico will mark Wilson’s second return to Colonial Life Arena since graduating in 2018. She played in a USA Basketball National Team intrasquad exhibition game on September 5, 2018, and she recorded 16 points and 7 rebounds to help lead the USA White Team to a 100-75 win over the USA Red Team.

The Aces begin their quest for a three-peat at home on May 14 against the Phoenix Mercury.

(University Of South Carolina Athletics/Las Vegas Aces)