Dawn Staley surprises A’ja Wilson before Game 3 of WNBA Finals

Dawn Staley and A’ja Wilson have achieved great success together on the international stage. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

A’ja Wilson received a pleasant surprise before Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.

Dawn Staley, Wilson’s former coach at South Carolina, made an appearance to show her support before Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces aimed for a three-game sweep of the New York Liberty in the best-of-five championship series.

Staley, who has also coached Wilson for Team USA, has consistently been one of the star forward’s biggest fans.

Following the revelation that Wilson finished third in the 2023 WNBA MVP voting, with one voter placing her fourth on their ballot, Staley sent a direct message on X.

“To the fourth place voter, your feelings of animosity are evident for all to see,” Staley wrote.

The admiration between coach and player flows both ways.

“I’m always proud to say that I am a product of Dawn Staley, and that carries significant weight for me. It’s a tremendous stamp, and you can see its impact on my college teammates,” Wilson mentioned in September. “It resonates with the culture and vibe we cultivated there. It’s no surprise that we are finding great success in this league.”

Wilson has been exceptional in the postseason, averaging 24.9 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. In the Aces’ 104-76 victory over the Liberty in Game 2, the 27-year-old scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Staley will make her return to the sideline on November 6 in Paris, France, as the Gamecocks kick off their season against Notre Dame.


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