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A’ja Wilson is coming home to Columbia. She’s bringing her WNBA team with her

Gamecock great A’ja Wilson will play basketball in Columbia again this summer.

Wilson and the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces will play a preseason game against the Puerto Rican national team at Colonial Life Arena at 1 p.m. on May 11. Tickets for the contest will become available Sunday at noon on Ticketmaster.

“I’m excited and can’t wait to return to Columbia with my Aces team,” Wilson said in a release. “It’s my dream to be able to go back to the place where it all started and showcase what my skills are now. This means the world to me, and I’m very much looking forward to it.”

Wilson was selected first overall by the Las Vegas Aces in the 2018 WNBA Draft -- South Carolina’s first No. 1 pick. Since then she has won back-to-back league championships with the franchise, a Finals MVP award, two league MVP awards, two WNBA Defensive Player of the Year awards and earned five WNBA All-Star nods.

Wilson came to South Carolina in 2014 as the No. 1 recruit in her class. She helped the Gamecocks win their first NCAA title in 2017, operating as the team’s top scorer and second-leading rebounder during that season. Wilson was named USC’s first national player (unanimously) of the year in 2018. She also earned four All-American and First-Team All-SEC selections at South Carolina.

“What a recognition of our city and our FAMS for the two-time WNBA Champion Las Vegas Aces to create a special event here in Columbia,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said in a release. “Obviously, we’re excited to see A’ja play on her former home court at Colonial Life Arena again, but we also love to see this kind of creative decision-making that allows our sport to continue to grow on all levels.”