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Aces’ A’ja Wilson previews FIBA World Cup, USA Basketball

Editor’s note: Aces star A’ja Wilson is checking in periodically from the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. It’s been a busy few weeks with USA training camp, winning WNBA Rookie of the Year and finally making the team.

TENERIFE, Spain — I’m so excited to wear the USA jersey during the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.

It’s been a fun few weeks since the WNBA season ended training with USA Basketball and my coach at South Carolina, Dawn Staley. I’m glad I can be along on this journey with her. It’s definitely been a great experience for me to be part of this World Cup team with so many great players such as Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Tina Charles.

It was so awesome when my teammates and coach surprised me in New York after practice one day telling me that I won the WNBA Rookie of the Year award. I definitely wish I could have celebrated with my Las Vegas family, but my USA teammates made it special for me.

I haven’t really had a chance to let this whole year sink in yet, but I’m sure when the time comes I’ll be able to sit back and take it all in.

The other cool thing about training camp was that I got a chance to reunite with some of my South Carolina teammates. Having Tiffany Mitchell and Allisha Gray in camp was awesome, not to mention Tyasha Harris. Getting a chance for us to play at home in South Carolina one more time was really special.

One of the really cool things about this trip is that I get to spend time with my mom. Family is so important to me, and to have her in Spain with me is really special. Dad will be coming to China when I play there this winter.

This isn’t my first time in Tenerife; we won the Under-19 championship here in 2013. That team was fun with Kelsey Plum, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck on it. Plum was my roommate for that trip and, well, we didn’t ever speak, but now we’re best buds playing together in Las Vegas and here.

Hopefully this one will end with a gold medal, too.

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