National Player of the Year A'ja Wilson headlines 2014 WBCA High School All-America Team

February 26, 2014 - 4:01pm
A'ja Wilson, the No. 2 player in the Full Court Fresh 50 Class of 2014, was selected today as the WBCA National Player of the Year. (File photo)

A'ja Wilson, the No. 2 player in the Full Court Fresh 50 Class of 2014, was selected today as the WBCA National Player of the Year. (File photo)

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.