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A’ja Wilson’s local impact

A’ja Wilson impacts her community both on and off the court, supporting dyslexia awareness and showcasing her roots in Columbia through charitable acts.


A’ja Wilson dribbles on her new court at Hyatt Park in Columbia. | Photo by COLAtoday

When A’ja Wilson walked the red carpet at the TIME100 Gala she was wearing a flowing red gown from 831 MINHLE, a Lexington fashion designer. On Saturday, she’ll don her Las Vegas Aces jersey as she returns to Colonial Life Arena and the court where she became a star in an exhibition game against the Puerto Rico national team. Secure your seat.

In 2022, Wilson told The State “Columbia’s home, It’s where my heart will always be. Born and raised here, so to come back and give back to the community is something that I think a lot of pride in because it’s raised me.”

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A’ja Wilson’s statue stands above the crowd outside of Colonial Life Arena. | Photo by COLAtoday

Off the court, Wilson’s impact is profound. There’s a full-ride scholarship in her name, basketball courts that she helped refurbish at Hyatt Park, the same community where her family grew up. She’s hosted local galas, basketball camps, a book signing at the Richland Two Institute Of Innovation, and then there’s her foundation.

One of the primary goals of her A’ja Wilson Foundation (AWF) is to help families who struggle with dyslexia. She’s become a role model for others, raising awareness and partnering with schools + organizations to provide support in the classroom.

On the court, Wilson’s impact on women’s basketball is legendary. Attendance soared from 101,935 to 225,064 during her time at USC. A statue now stands in her honor, a testament to her legacy as she continues to dominate in the WNBA, securing back-to-back championships, multiple MVP titles, and as a five-time All-Star.

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A’ja as a standout freshman at Heathwood High School. | Clipping via

When Wilson was named high school player of the year as a freshman at Heathwood Hall, she said her goal was to “get her master’s degree and hopefully play professionally overseas.” Now, she’s the face of the WNBA, a growing icon in all of sports, and paving the way for future generations to follow in her footsteps.

A’ja Wilson was named after a song and album of which of these bands?

A) The Doobie Brothers

B) Steely Dan

C) Hootie and the Blowfish

D) Hall and Oates

Take a guess