The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) today named A'ja Wilson of Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, S.C., as the 2014 WBCA High School Player of the Year. Wilson, the No. 2-ranked prospect in the Full Court Fresh 50 Class of 2014, headlines the 2014 WBCA High School All-America Team also announced by the WBCA today in Atlanta.
Wilson, a 6-foot-4 senior forward who is averaging 35 points per game, one of just three Full Court Fresh 50 honorees in her class who remain undecided on where they will play college ball, has narrowed her choices to Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. She plans to pursue a degree in psychology.
"Congratulations to A'ja for earning the top award for high school basketball players," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "She has set high standards for current and future high school student-athletes to pursue greatness in a game that is rapidly excelling. The WBCA wishes A'ja the best on her future in college and in the game of women's basketball, as several potential college programs are hoping that she will be a part of their team."
Nine other players, all but one of whom is ranked among the Full Court Fresh 50, joined Wilson on the 2014 WBCA High School All-America Team:
|2014 WBCA All-America Team|
|Name||School||Hometown||Signed||Full Court Fresh 50 Ranking|
|Ariel Atkins||Duncanville High School||Duncanville, TX||Texas||No. 4|
|Sierra Calhoun||Christ the King High School||Brooklyn, NY||Duke||No. 11|
|Jordin Canada||Winward School||Los Angeles, CA||UCLA||No. 7|
|Gabby Green||Saint Mary’s College High School||Oakland, CA||California||No. 8|
|Alexis Jennings||Sparkman High School||Madison, AL||Kentucky||NR|
|Alexa Middleton||Riverdale High School||Murfreesboro, TN||Tennessee||No. 32|
|Kelsey Mitchell||Princeton High School||Cincinnati, OH||Ohio State||No. 3|
|Brianna Turner||Manvel High School||Pearland, TX||Notre Dame||No. 1|
|Jatarie White||Providence Day School||Charlotte, NC||South Carolina||No. 5|
|A’ja Wilson||Heathwood Hall Episcopal School||Hopkins, SC||Undeclared||No. 2|
The 2014 WBCA High School All-American selections marked a departure from the practice in previous years past in which the organization named 20 All Americans, who would subsequently be divided between two rosters to play in an All-American game staged at the site of the NCAA Division I Women's Final Four. The game, held annually since 1992, played host to some of the biggest names in women's basketball history including: Katie Smith, Chamique Holdsclaw, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter, Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles, Ephiphanny Prince, Maya Moore and Brittney Griner.
However, earlier this year, the organization announced that the WBCA High School All-America Game will not be played this year. Declining sponsorship revenue and the rising cost of operating the game was going to make it necessary for the WBCA to fund the game by redirecting money from services the association’s membership rate more highly..
“The decision to suspend the game, although difficult, was financially responsible and necessary,” said Bass. “We will explore the feasibility of reinstating the game in future years if new sponsorship revenues are made available.”
With the suspension of the game, the WBCA decided to name 10 rather than 20 players as High School All-Americans this year to be consistent with the WBCA All-America teams in the collegiate divisions.
“The 10 members of this year’s High School All-America Team have been great leaders for their teams and for the game of girls’ and women’s basketball as it continues to grow,” said Bass.
As in the past, the organization also named 20 players receiving 2014 WBCA High School All-America honorable mention, a number of Full Court Fresh 50 honorees among them:
|2014 WBCA All-America Honorable Mention|
|Name||School||Hometown||Signed||Full Court Fresh 50 Ranking|
|Diani Akibogun||Regis Jesuit High School||Aurora, CO||Texas||NR|
|Nakiah Bell||Incarnate Word Academy HS||Florissant, MO||Iowa State||NR|
|McKenzie Calvert||Byron P. Steele II High School||Schertz, TX||USC||No. 21|
|Amarah Coleman||Homewood-Flossmoor High School||Bolingbrook, IL||Illinois||NR|
|Mikayla Cowling||Saint Mary’s College High School||Benicia, CA||California||No. 41|
|Kaydra Duckett||Dreher High School||Columbia, SC||South Carolina||No. 26|
|Sadie Edwards||Blair Academy High School||Meriden, CT||Connecticut||No. 38|
|Justine Hall||Regis Jesuit High School||Centennial, CO||Purdue||NR|
|Kelli Hayes||Archbishop Mitty High School||San Jose, CA||UCLA||No. 29|
|Chloe Jackson||Riverdale Baptist High School||Waldorf, MD||N.C. State||NR|
|Kaylee Johnson||Natrona County High School||Casper, WY||Stanford||NR|
|Haley Lorenzen||Iowa City High School||Iowa City, IA||Florida||No. 40|
|Erin Mathias||Fox Chapel High School||Pittsburgh, PA||Duke||NR|
|Brooke McCarty||Clear Springs High School||League City, TX||Texas||No. 17|
|Mariya Moore||Salesian High School||Pleasant Hill, CA||Louisville||No. 25|
|Alyssa Rice||Reynoldsburg High School||Reynoldsburg, OH||Kentucky||No. 22|
|Taylor Rooks||Gill St. Bernard’s School||Warren, NJ||Stanford||No. 18|
|Azura Stevens||Cary High School||Raleigh, NC||Duke||No. 15|
|Shakayla Thomas||Sylacauga High School||Sylacauga, AL||Florida State||No. 12|
|Victoria Vivians||Scott Central High School||Forest, MS||Miss. State||No. 6|
Any graduating senior can be nominated for the WBCA High School All-America Team by a high school or AAU coach who is an active WBCA member. College coaches are not eligible to nominate a player for consideration. The 10-player All-America team and a 20-player honorable mention team are selected from the nominees by a selection committee composed of WBCA-member girls’ high school basketball coaches who represent nine geographical districts across the country.
The 2014 selection committee is also composed of Brian Robinson (chair), Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School (N.C.); Eric Smith, Cicero-North Syracuse High School (N.Y.) Jody Patrick, Flint Hill School (Va.); Anthony Smith, Homewood-Flossmoor High School (Ill.); Jill Nagel, Rock Bridge High School (Mo.); Todd Monsey, Waco Midway High School (Texas); Carl Mattei, Regis Jesuit High School (Colo.); Kevin Kiernan, Mater Dei High School (Calif.); Angie Hembree, Nocross High School (Ga.); and Gary Glasscock (past chair), Metro High School (Mo.). Daniella Trujillo, WBCA manager of events, awards &office administration, is staff liaison to the committee.
Source: Portions of this article were provided by a WBCA press release.
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