All-Star forward for the Las Vegas Aces and 2018 WNBA Rookie of the Year, A’ja Wilson took her culinary talents to Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits in Simpsonville, South Carolina, on March 7 to raise money for her newly established foundation.
A hometown hero from nearby Columbia, South Carolina, and a former University of South Carolina Gamecock, the 2017 NCAA champion spent the dinner rush last week baking buttermilk biscuits and serving customers at the drive-thru window. In return for her efforts, Bojangles’ directed 20 percent of sales during Wilson’s two-hour shift to her foundation.
Established by Wilson and her parents, Roscoe and Eva Wilson, the A’ja Wilson Foundation seeks to create awareness about dyslexia, support related research, prevent bullying, and provide resources for children with disabilities and their families. A dyslexia sufferer herself, Wilson is glad to now be in a position where she can use the power of her growing platform to pay it forward.
“This [foundation] is something I wanted to start as soon as I could get out of college,” stated Wilson. “Growing up I struggled with dyslexia and also bullying. So I wanted to let kids understand if you use the right resources, anything is possible. The sky’s the limit.”
Wilson’s foundation has already been active in other ways too. In February, Wilson hosted third through eighth graders at the first ever basketball camp at her former high school. Held at Heathwood Hall Episcopal High School in Columbia, South Carolina, Wilson helped lead the camp with the support of her family, her foundation and her former USC teammate and fellow WNBA Rookie of the Year Allisha Gray.
At just 22 years old, Wilson is quickly making a name for herself not only as a professional athlete but also as a philanthropist and social activist. This past September at Harlem Fashion Week, Wilson was one of 16 women featured by LeBron James in his “The Strongest” campaign promoting the 16th release of his signature Nike sneaker — the first of his shoes to be designed by women for women. Along with his mother, wife, daughter and other inspirational females, James chose to highlight Wilson for her social advocacy off the court, calling her the “rookie with a voice.”
As Wilson prepares to enter her second WNBA season this spring, her voice is only getting louder, and the world is much better for it.