Draft Diary: A’ja Wilson talks getting drafted, going home
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) It’s been really an amazing few days.
It’s been two days since I was drafted, and I still feel like I’m dreaming. It certainly was the best night of my life ever.
Being taken first by Las Vegas was surreal. Then walking on stage and getting my jersey from WNBA President Lisa Borders, who happens to be a sorority sister. We both are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – which is the oldest African-American sorority dating back to 1908.
It was definitely fun to flash the sorority sign with her.
Then when I did the first part of the WNBA media circuit, they surprised me. They really got me. They gave me a huge iPad with the WNBA logo on it. Told me not to press play until they were ready. I just figured it was Las Vegas coach Bill Laimbeer welcoming me to the Aces. The countdown went from five to one and then Blake Griffin’s face popped on the screen . I mean, c’mon, Blake Griffin?
He’s been my favorite player. I loved him at Oklahoma he was so explosive and played with a lot of energy there. I met him in Los Angeles when I was a sophomore. We were practicing for a game out there across the street from the Clippers practice facility. I got a chance to meet him then and honestly, every time I see him I fangirl.
He follows me on Twitter and I just love his personality.
Coach Dawn Staley knew that and she got me a signed shirt that says ”There’s no place like home” signed by Blake Griffin a few years ago. She was finally able to give it to me now that I’m done playing at South Carolina.
I had a chance to see some of New York before draft night Thursday, checking out the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and a few other sites in the city. There’s nothing like that in South Carolina.
After the night was done, my family went out to dinner to celebrate my dad’s birthday that was the next day. I couldn’t get him a better birthday present then getting drafted.
Now I’m back in South Carolina for the weekend before heading off to Las Vegas. It’s sort of a farewell tour in South Carolina. One of the first stops I made was to my grandmother’s house. I hadn’t really been there much since she passed away. I know she’s been with me every step of the way.
I was thinking if I do visit her grave, I would bring an Aces hat or maybe bring a plant and put it in the WNBA cup they gave us at the draft. It would be really special.
Then there was a stop at my old preschool and high school Heathwood Hall where I learned from some of the best teachers. Oh yeah, also the first gym that I ever picked up a basketball in.
Finally I went to Wild Wing Cafe Vista restaurant to celebrate one last time.
Next stop, Las Vegas!
South Carolina star A’ja Wilson is chronicling her path from the end of her college career to the start of her WNBA career, including getting drafted.