Staley: Still unknown if Wilson will play in SEC Tournament

South Carolina forward A'ja Wilson (22) and Georgia guard Maya Caldwell (11) compete for posssession of the ball during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Athens, Ga. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) While A’ja Wilson is heading to the Southeastern Conference Tournament with her team this week, coach Dawn Staley isn’t sure the three-time SEC player of the year will be able to play.

Wilson has been battling vertigo since practice Friday and missed the No. 8 Gamecocks final regular season game, a 65-46 loss to No. 12 Tennessee on Sunday.

Wilson hasn’t practiced this week, but seems to be getting less dizzy, Staley said Wednesday.

”I had a bout with vertigo once. It’s not a good thing. You don’t know what’s going on. You certainly aren’t right,” Staley said.

Wilson wants to get back, but Staley said she won’t play until the Gamecocks medical staff clears her, whether it is this week’s SEC Tournament or the NCAA Tournament in March.

”We want her 100 percent healthy because when she is that, she is America’s best college player.”

Wilson won her third SEC player of the year award this week and is a candidate for national player of the year. She is averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds a game.

South Carolina is 1-2 with her out of the lineup this season, with both losses to Tennessee. The Gamecocks will open the SEC Tournament on Friday in the quarterfinals against the winner of Thursday’s game between Tennessee and Auburn.

Wilson insisted on flying to Nashville for the tournament to support her teammates, even if she never steps on the court.

”She’s flying. She said, `Even if I have to wear a helmet,”’ Staley said.