She's come close before. Now she's right at the doorstep — again.
On Wednesday, South Carolina senior forward A'ja Wilson was named one of four finalists for the Wade Trophy, given to the nation's best women's college basketball player, for the third straight year.
Wilson has already won two National Player of the Year honors this season, from USA Today and espnW. This one, however, is different. The Wade Trophy was first awarded in 1979, making it the oldest national player of the year award for women's college basketball. It is also the official award of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
Alongside Wilson, Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu, Connecticut's Katie Lou Samuelson and Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell were all named finalists. However, Wilson is the heavy favorite to win, as she is with every national award. She leads the SEC in points and blocks per game and is top 15 in the NCAA in points, rebounds and blocks per contest.
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The winner of the award will be announced on March 29 during ESPN's broadcast of the Final Four. In the week after, several other major awards are expected to be announced, including the Naismith Trophy and the Wooden Award.
NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
College Sports Madness — A'ja Wilson
USA Today — A'ja Wilson
espnW — A'ja Wilson
Wade Trophy — March 29
Associated Press — March 29
Naismith Trophy — March 31
Wooden Award — April 6