In its inaugural season, the city’s third major league sports team is off to a slow start. The Las Vegas Aces are the first major women’s professional sports team to call Sin City home but, unfortunately, the team’s struggled out of the gate. Despite the early struggles, Vegas does have one player making a huge impact on the new Aces team: rookie sensation A’Ja Wilson.
With the Golden Knight’s Realm casting a huge shadow, fans had high hopes for the Aces to have a successful season. Despite the sluggish start, it is safe to say the team’s No. 1 draft pick was not wasted last year.
Things may be on the up and up though. The youthful Aces have won four of their last seven, and are just two wins away from matching last year’s win total before the team relocated from San Antonio to Vegas. The team is young, as nine of their 13 players have no more than three years of experience in the league. Needless the say, this is a building project from the ground up.
“I’m blessed to be able to grow with them,” she told The Post and Courier. “We’re at a place where we can write our own book and tell our own story.”
Wilson is a near-lock for an All-Star nomination. At the beginning of 2018, she was still known as the four-time All-American forward playing for South Carolina. Now, she is one of the leading scorers in the WNBA. Averaging around 20 points per game, Wilson is the leading scorer for the Aces and is a major factor in this team’s recent success.
Towering at 6-foot-4 (which is tall for the WNBA), she can get the ball up the court and into the basket, no matter how much coverage is supplied. Although she hasn’t had any three-point attempts this season, there hasn’t been an issue with her leading her team to the few victories that the Aces have. On June 12 at Indiana, she scored a career high of 35 points in the 40 minutes she played.
Wilson has garnered plenty of national attention this season. ESPN has gone as far as placing her in the top rookies in WNBA history. Her current pace as a rookie has some even wondering if this is the start of a “GOAT” campaign, with Wilson being named as South Carolina’s “Greatest Athlete of All Time” this past spring. Recently, the gifted rookie was even nominated for an ESPY award.
With their record now sitting at 5-10, the team is 6.5 games out of first place in the Western division but just 3.5 games back of a playoff spot. The Aces will play four straight home games in the next week so it is the perfect time to go cheer on the new ESPY nominee A’ja Wilson and the rest of the Aces.
Vegas has a franchise player, something even the Golden Knights can attest is a vital part of team identity. Wilson is the oasis in this desert town and it’s only a matter of time before the city sees her for the rare talent she is. The tickets are cheaper than the Strip parking. It’s a great way to see a professional team for a small chunk of change. With Wilson at the helm for the only major league sports team in town right now, the Aces’ games at the Mandalay Bay Events Center should be raining buckets!