One down, four to go.
And A’ja Wilson plans to use all of her college visits.
The nation’s top-ranked women’s basketball recruit returned from the first official visit of her senior year on Sunday without committing, which was expected. Wilson, from Columbia and Heathwood Hall, has her choice of suitors but will take her five official visits before deciding in the spring.
This past weekend’s trip was to defending national champion Connecticut. This week’s trip will be to North Carolina. After that, she will be shutting down the future for the present — Heathwood’s season begins Nov. 15.
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The summer and fall have been a whirlwind for Wilson, who played with Team USA. After the UNC trip, Wilson plans to shut it down and concentrate on her main goal.
“I’m very excited,” Wilson said Monday. “Kind of hard to believe this is my last year playing at Heathwood. It’s going to be a very exciting year. I missed out on AAU because of playing with Team USA, and high school season is a really big year. We want to win a championship.”
Wilson and her family visited UConn from Thursday to Sunday, with Wilson reuniting with some of her Team USA teammates as her family took in the atmosphere.
Wilson’s approach to the visit served her well.
“It was exactly what we wanted so she can make an informed decision, not just off emotion,” her father, Roscoe Wilson, said. “We want to be objective about every visit we go on. She can make notes, put things away. Her mother keeps a spreadsheet, with pros and cons, what I like and didn’t like, that she can sit down and look at any time. It was good.”
UConn could offer a breathtaking view outside the gym in mid-October, the New England foliage painting the scenery in reds, oranges and golds. The view inside the gym was equally as breathtaking — eight national championship banners.
“One thing they have that not a lot of others have is that winning tradition,” Roscoe Wilson said. “They got eight national championships. That’s what she has to decide — does she want to be a part of that or create her own legacy?”
“I think just the mere fact that I was going up there with my family,” A’ja Wilson said. “Defending national champs, being there in the atmosphere, traveling up there. It was great.”
Roscoe Wilson said it was good to get the first one out of the way, to have something in the books to start comparing and contrasting. It’s about finding a place where his daughter feels comfortable, where she likes the coach and the style of play, where she can fit into the academic atmosphere.
Wilson will decide on her final three visits after her senior season.
“There’s nothing set,” Roscoe Wilson said. “We’ll schedule those later. South Carolina is in the mix to be one of those visits.”