A’ja Wilson, a versatile 6-foot-4 wing from Hopkins, S.C., is the most sought after recruit in the Class of 2014. She is the top player in the class, averaging 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3.0 steals and 5.0 blocks in 22 games last season for Heathwood Hall Episcopal High. She has already accumulated 1,726 career points, 989 rebounds and 58 double-doubles in 71 career games.
There are numerous schools vying for her commitment, including defending national champion UConn. But the recruiting process is one that Wilson is enjoying, one that her parents Roscoe and Eva have taken the lead with to ensure that it does not become overwhelming.
Wilson does not yet have a final list in place. In fact, Eva Wilson said that A’ja likely will not narrow her list until after her high school season and will not make her final decision until the spring.
“Actually, (the recruiting process) been very enjoyable for her,’’ Eva Wilson said. “A’ja is a people person and she’s really enjoying the opportunity to interact with the different coaches and their staff and just being able to see them in a different light. She’s really enjoying it. She hasn’t shown that it’s hectic at all. We have strategies in place to kind of cut down some of that so that we and she won’t get overwhelmed. So she’s been able to enjoy it.
“She’s being recruited by a lot of schools and as her parents we have really taken charge of the recruiting process as far as it comes to home visits and telephone calls and things like that because she’s 17. So she can enjoy her senior year and do all the things that come along with that, plus be able to do the other things that she does here at home … church and family and that sort of stuff. So we’ve kind of taken the reins with helping her along that process. We want her to do everything she wants to do, but just make sure that everything is done in moderation, not to overwhelm her.’’
A’ja Wilson had home visits with Baylor, UConn, Louisville, North Carolina, Rutgers and Tennessee last month. Eva Wilson described the visit with UConn head coach Geno Auriemma and associate head coach Chris Dailey as “a good visit.’’
Wilson will take all of her five official visits and has scheduled visits to UConn Oct. 18-19, when she will attend First Night festivities at Gampel Pavilion, and North Carolina Oct. 25-26. The remaining three visits have not yet been finalized.
Eva Wilson said that the location of the school is not an issue in her daughter’s final decision.
“From what we get from her and just talking with her over the course of time she just wants to make sure that the college she chooses to go to is where she would want to stay regardless,’’ Eva Wilson said. “A lot of times kids go to schools just for coaches, just for athletic programs and then if that doesn’t work out then they don’t want to be there. She’s looking for a school that regardless of how it may go she would want to be there and get the education that she would be afforded, even Master’s and that sort of thing. She’s a very visual person. So basically it has to be a good fit for her and she could see herself there in the event, God forbid, if something happened that she would be a regular student there.’’