South Carolina will soon begin soliciting résumés from sculptors to create a statue of former Gamecocks basketball star A’ja Wilson outside Colonial Life Arena.
South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner said the university hopes to unveil the statue prior to the 2020-21 basketball season. The statue will be bronze and in a dynamic and athletic pose.
South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley donated $100,000 for the project and two other donors made major donations that will cover the majority of $300,000 expense of the statue.
“This was one of the easier fund-raising campaigns in my tenure,” USC president Harris Pastides said.
The school’s campus art advisory committee has approved the addition of the statue, it was announced Wednesday at a USC board of trustees meeting. When the artist has been chosen and design revealed, the project will go to the board’s design review committee and then to the BOT buildings and grounds committee for final approval.
Wilson, a native of Hopkins, was the three-time SEC Player of the Year and a three-time All-American and led the Gamecocks to the 2017 national championship. She is South Carolina’s all-time leading scorer. Wilson was then the No. 1 overall selection in the WNBA Draft and the WNBA rookie of the year after averaging 20.7 points per game in her first season.