The age of A'ja Wilson starts now

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A'ja Wilson is rolling on the Gamecocks' practice court, stretching her hamstrings over her head like a 6-foot-5 ballerina. She flips side to side,cheap authentic nfl jerseys listening as her teammates debate the appeal of the various male leads in Black Panther. "Wakanda forever," they chime in unison, breaking into giggles as they stand to run full-court drills -- Wilson, 21, making short work of the 94 feet with her loping, jackrabbit stride.

The South Carolina forward is the best college player in the country, the projected No. 1 WNBA pick and the only three-time SEC Player of the Year -- the rare big who can thread any needle. Wilson's peers label her hard to guard, with weapons-grade versatility. She shoots from all angles, blocks shots the way a billboard blocks the sun. She is deceptively loose, smooth, slipping through any net like an oiled fish. On the surface, Wilson appears all rainbow-bright fun. In truth, she's a shiv in a sequined pouch, a fairyland princess who can dunk.

"To be able to throw the ball up in the air knowing she'll catch it, no matter how high, how far," Gamecocks guard Doniyah Cliney says. "Her efficiency is ridiculous."

Wilson is also the quintessential good sport, never failing to point out an assist, never one to gloat. Instead, she's generous, good-humored, silly. On the bench, whenever Wilson is handed her water bottle, she says thank you. Every. Single. Time.

"She's the mama of the team," says Dallas Wings guard Allisha Gray, who roomed with Wilson at South Carolina. "She's always like, 'Calm down, it's OK, everything is going to be all right in the end.'"

That emotional maturity and winsome, wise-beyond-her-years perspective only ups Wilson's allure to the WNBA -- GMs and coaches unanimously label her their first pick in this year's draft on April 12. For all her aw-shucks humility, Wilson is already the biggest star entering the league, on and off the court, and she hasn't even left her hometown yet.

Practice over, a freshly showered Wilson settles onto a high stool in the Gamecocks' player lounge. She's dressed in a preppy maroon-collared shirt and fitted jeans,cheap nfl jerseys from china with pink lip gloss, a touch of liquid eyeliner, hair swept into a neat ponytail, a thin black headband taming any wisps. Her butt has barely hit the seat before she confesses, full-throatedly and with a hint of joy: "I hated basketball."

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