South Carolina Basketball: A'ja Wilson gets banged up, still delivers WNBA record-breaking performance

South Carolina basketball legend A'ja Wilson got banged up in Sunday's game between the Las Vegas Aces and Los Angeles Sparks but still broke a WNBA record.
South Carolina basketball legend A'ja Wilson
South Carolina basketball legend A'ja Wilson / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There is no debate: A'ja Wilson is the best women's basketball player in the world. There shouldn't have been any debate in recent years as the South Carolina basketball legend has proven herself to be the top player in the WNBA with two MVPs and two WNBA Finals championships, but her start to the 2024 season has removed any doubt.

Wilson is on a historic pace, averaging 28.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3 blocks. 2.6 assists, and 1.9 steals per game while shooting over 50% from the field, better than 40% from behind the arc, and above 80% from the charity stripe. She also has nearly a 2-1 assist-turnover ratio and has logged a 20-point double-double in 7 of her 9 games this year.

For those who don't follow women's basketball closely, WNBA games are just 40 minutes, not 48 like the NBA. This means that, if multiplied proportionately for 48-minute games, A'ja Wilson's "NBA numbers" would look something like 34 points, 14 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 3 assists, and 2 steals per game. No one has ever put up those numbers on the men's side while also shooting 50% from the field except Wilt Chamberlain.

Because the Las Vegas Aces star is accomplishing unprecedented things on the basketball court, it shouldn't be a surprise that records have fallen like dominoes in her wake.

She already has set new all-time WNBA marks for most consecutive 20-point, 10-rebound double-doubles and the most all-time WNBA Western Conference Player of the Month honors, and she became the first player ever to log a 35-point, 10-rebound, 5-steal performance.

On Sunday, she made history again.

Despite getting fouled and taking a fall in which she landed hard on her head and shoulder, Wilson put up an absurd 31 points, 8 rebounds, 6 blocks, 5 assists, and 2 steals. The 31 points marked her 14th game in a row with at least 20 points (dating back to last season), setting a new record and besting the previous mark of 13 set by Diana Taurasi. Wilson also scored her 4000th point in the game, making her the 3rd-fastest player to reach the milestone behind only Taurasi and Breanna Stewart.

The way she is playing, the WNBA may have to rename their Most Valuable Player award the M'VP as the GOAT of South Carolina basketball is well on her way to a third individual honor and could wind up being the GOAT of all women's basketball before her career is complete.

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