South Carolina basketball legend A'ja Wilson named first-ever winner of major award

South Carolina basketball legend A'ja Wilson was named the first-ever recipient of the Tamika Catchings Award.

South Carolina basketball legend A'ja Wilson after winning her second WNBA championship
South Carolina basketball legend A'ja Wilson after winning her second WNBA championship / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball legend A'ja Wilson is the best player in the WNBA and has a real chance of going down in history as the best women's basketball player to ever play on the hardwood.

Because of her excellence, A'ja Wilson is no stranger to winning awards.

In high school, she was the top-ranked recruit in the nation in the class of 2014, won a South Carolina state championship, was a McDonald's All-American, and was the Gatorade National Player of the Year.

In college with the South Carolina basketball team, she won a national championship in the 2016-2017 season, was the 2017-2018 Wooden National Player of the Year Award winner and a three-time SEC Player of the Year Award honoree, made four All-SEC teams and three All-American squads, was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year twice, received the Lisa Leslie Award, and set multiple USC and SEC records.

As a pro, A'ja Wilson has brought home two WNBA MVPS, two WNBA Defensive Player of the Year honors, an ESPY, two WNBA championships, a WNBA Finals MVP, and earned an Olympic gold medal and two World Cup gold medals. She has been a WNBA All-Star every season and is the WNBA record-holder for most points scored in a game.

This week, though, Wilson managed to win an award for the first time.

It was announced on Thursday that Wilson was honored as the first recipient of the Tamika Catchings Award as the WNBA player who best combines on-court dominance and media relations. The award is the counterpart of the NBA's Magic Johnson Award.

As evidenced by the litany of awards with her name engraved on them, her on-court dominance is obvious. However, Wilson is a fan favorite in front of the camera or behind the microphone. She has an infectious personality and is always ready to deliver a quotable sound bite for the media.

In recent years, Wilson has written a book, has been a prominent voice in the push for more coverage of women's and girls' basketball, and is one of the league's most beloved personalities.

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