South Carolina star A’ja Wilson will begin the professional chapter of her basketball career as a member of the Las Vegas Aces, becoming the first Gamecock to go No. 1 overall in the WNBA Draft.
The Aces are new to Las Vegas for the 2018 season, though the franchise has been around since the formation of the WNBA in 1997. The Aces began life as the Utah Starzz, then became the San Antonio Silver Stars (later shortened to just “Stars”) before moving to Vegas.
The team’s most recent playoff bid was in 2014, and the franchise made its only Finals appearance in 2008, where it was swept by Detroit. Last year, the then-Stars struggled to an 8-26 record, coming off another rough 7-27 campaign the season before. For a team that wants to reverse its fortunes, gambling on Wilson was a good call. (Sorry, I had to.)
Wilson will join some familiar faces, with Tennessee’s Isabelle Harrison and Cierra Burdick as her teammates. The Aces roster also features one-time Gamecock Kelsey Bone, as well as 2017 national player of the year Kelsey Plum.