Success Story

How A’ja Wilson repaid her parents for their sacrifice besides retiring her mom

A’ja Wilson is one of the top women’s basketball players and an athletic hero. Before playing basketball in college, the former University of South Carolina Women’s basketball player was not sure she wanted anything to do with the sport.

However, with the support and encouragement of her parents, she gradually developed an interest in it. Her dad, Roscoe Wilson Jr., would make her wear a weighted vest while she scored layups. The athlete describes this period as “the hell part” of their relationship, but it also helped to improve her skills.

“Left hand, right hand, left hand, right hand,” Roscoe told ESPN. “I’d tell her to always know where her feet should be, don’t bring her hands down below her shoulders. Now, it’s second nature.”

Wilson’s father is a former Benedict College student who also played professional basketball for a decade in Europe and South America. According to ESPN, he once pulled down 35 boards in a college game and was an All-American.

He aspired to play for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, therefore, it was so moving for him that Wilson played for the school and has since become one of the faces of South Carolina sports.

“There are still times I say to myself, ‘Gosh dang, A’ja is at USC!'” Roscoe said. “I see posters of her on billboards. For me, it’s a total fulfillment to see my daughter here getting her degree. A’ja is a blessing from God for me and my wife, and we never take that for granted. Since her birth, she’s given me nothing but joy.”

Wilson played for the University of South Carolina from 2015 to 2018. While playing for the Gamecocks, the team won the 2017 NCAA Tournament and earned three SEC regular-season titles and four SEC Tournament wins.

She was drafted into the WNBA as the No. 1 pick in the first round in 2018, and she made her debut with the Las Vegas Aces. She won the WNBA Rookie of the Year award that year and became a member of the All-Rookie Team. Furthermore, she has won two WNBA championships and is a two-time league MVP, two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, and five-time league All-Star.

Besides her father’s support, her mother, Eva, helped to instill a strong work ethic in her. Amidst her success, Wilson said it could not have been possible without her parents. The 27-year-old said she has repaid her parents for their sacrifice.

Wilson told Boardroom that she has retired her mother and that her dad continues to benefit from her time on the court.

“I don’t even think there are enough tangible things that I could do to repay them for how much they’ve sacrificed for me, how much they love for me,” Wilson revealed to Boardroom. “My dad says, ‘I’m living my dream watching my daughter live hers.’ So every time I step foot on that court, every time I’m seen somewhere, I have to shine because I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams, and I’m my parents’ dream.”

She continued, “The least I can do is share with the world because those are my heartbeats. They give, give, give. So the only tangible thing I really did for my mom was retire her so she could be around me more. With my dad, I think just playing the game that he loved and played is a gift itself. So, that’s why, every time I play, I play with so much passion. Y’all going to get this work.”

Abu Mubarik

Abu Mubarik is a journalist with years of experience in digital media. He loves football and tennis.

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