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HomeSportsA'Ja Wilson's FIBA World Cup dominance caps off a remarkable year

A’Ja Wilson’s FIBA World Cup dominance caps off a remarkable year

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SYDNEY — The year 2022 officially belongs to A’Ja Wilson.

The champagne hasn’t stopped flowing for the 26-year-old, who continued her championship szn in Sydney, leading the United States to their fourth-straight FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup crown.

Despite arriving late and missing the first two games of the tournament as she celebrated the Las Vegas Aces championship, she went from the parade to the airport and stepped onto the floor in Sydney without missing a beat. 

The Aces star averaged 17.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.3 blocks at the World Cup, enough to earn her a spot in the All-Star Five, as well as tournament MVP honors — rounding out the tournament with a team-high 19 points, to go with five rebounds and two steals in the gold medal game. 

“I’ve been here before, I’ve had players where A’ja is, where you win a WNBA championship, you come over and you win gold,” Team USA head coach Cheryl Reeve said following their gold medal triumph.

“It’s really, really special and they make it look easy. It’s not. They’re tremendously talented. A’ja Wilson is tremendously talented.”

Team USA celebrate FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup gold

TSN’s Jordan Greer dubbed Wilson’s 2021-22 one of the ‘greatest individual seasons in league history’ as she became the second player in WNBA history alongside Sheryl Swoopes, to win Defensive Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player of the Year, and a championship in the same season

Before Wilson, only four other players had won DPOY and MVP in the same season. 

Year Player DPOY MVP Championship
1999 Yolanda Griffith Yes Yes No
2000 Sheryl Swoopes Yes Yes Yes
2002 Sheryl Swoopes Yes Yes No
2004 Lisa Leslie Yes Yes No
2007 Lauren Jackson Yes Yes No
2022 A’ja Wilson Yes Yes Yes

Adding to that Wilson and the Aces won the Commissioner’s Cup, she was named a​ WNBA All-Star for the fourth time, named to the All-WNBA First Team for a second time, named to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team for the first time, and led the WNBA in blocks for a second time.

Sheesh.

“This is why you sacrifice,” Wilson said after the World Cup final. 

“My teammates hold me accountable. They put me in the best situation so I didn’t really feel tired. This is what we live for.

“This is honestly my job and I love my job. I love what I do and now I can go to sleep. I’m so excited. My bed is literally calling my name.”

With a bag full of trophies to her name, it’s fair to say she’s earned her rest.


Credit: sportingnews.com

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