WNBA

A’ja Wilson Signs 2-Year Extension With Las Vegas Aces

Jul 3, 2023, 11:29 AM

A'ja-Wilson-Las-Vegas-Aces-WNBA...

A'ja Wilson #22 of the Las Vegas Aces walks back onto the court after a timeout in the fourth quarter of a game against the Indiana Fever at Michelob ULTRA Arena on June 26, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Aces defeated the Fever 88-80. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (AP)A’ja Wilson didn’t want to waste the time of other team’s as a free agent when she knew she didn’t want to leave Las Vegas.

The two-time MVP signed a two-year contract extension with the Aces, the team announced Friday.

“The minute they drafted me, they took a chance on me,” Wilson said. “They wanted me to build this program, to build around me and to help us grow. I was super grateful for that.”

Wilson, who led the team to its first WNBA championship last season, has helped the Aces to a 14-1 record this year.

“One of the best, if not the best basketball player in the world,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said at practice Friday. “As good as she is as a basketball player, she’s that good as a person and as a leader. To have that skill set and personality all wrapped up in one is a special gift. We’re certainly happy she chose to stay with us.”

Wilson signed a two-year rookie-scale extension prior to last season and was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year. Now the Aces have their core group of Wilson, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young and Chelsea Gray signed through next year.

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The 26-year-old forward was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 WNBA draft out of South Carolina and won rookie of the year that season. She was the league MVP in 2020 and 2022.

“This is home for me,” she said. “I plan to stay here.”

She might need to find new shopping habits as with her success and the Aces’ growing fan base, Wilson admitted that it’s gotten tougher to go out for groceries and to stores like Target. She said the first year or two she could get into stores unnoticed. Now she can barely make it out of her car in the parking lot without people saying hello.

Coming into this year, Wilson averaged 19.1 points and 8.4 rebounds. This season, she’s up her numbers slightly to 19.4 points and 9 boards a game.

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A’ja Wilson Signs 2-Year Extension With Las Vegas Aces