espnW: Anna Wilson

Proud to be a Stanford recruit

April, 6, 2014
Apr 6
8:59
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Anna WilsonEric Lars Bakke/ESPN ImagesAnna Wilson knows her basketball future is in good hands with Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer.

Anna Wilson, a sophomore at Collegiate (Richmond, Va.), is one of the best high school basketball players in the nation. The 5-foot-7 point guard, who has given a verbal commitment to Stanford, is also the sister of NFL star Russell Wilson. She blogs for espnW.

In the past couple of days I have been asked what is it like being a recruit for Stanford when the team is about to play on one of the biggest stages – the 2014 women’s basketball Final Four in Nashville.

Well, on behalf of myself and other prospects for Stanford, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Maryland, it is a blessing.

About this time last year [freshman year in high school], I was unsure of where I wanted to spend my four years of college. So while watching March Madness I would look to see which program would be the best fit for me. Little did I know that five months later I would be making my decision not based on basketball, but based on the biggest stage -- the classroom.

I chose Stanford because of the challenge I knew it was going to give me. I wanted to do something other people might not choose to do, to take the road less traveled. I knew what the process would be like and if I wanted to play at a school like Stanford; school needed to come first. Before committing I told my teachers I was interested in going to Stanford and I needed to be prepared academically.

Choosing Stanford as the place to play college basketball was the easier decision. Coach VanDerveer is one of the best. When I watch her coach, I see someone who is a motivator, teacher and leader for her players. She has done so many special things at Stanford, and I just want to be a part of that.

When it comes down to it, I am incredibly thankful and humbled to be a Stanford recruit.

Go Stanford!


A mix of pain and gain

March, 19, 2014
Mar 19
11:43
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Anna WilsonCourtesy of Andrew WileyAnna Wilson missed eight games this season with a knee injury, but the Stanford recruit gained mental strength, accountability and faith.

Anna Wilson, a sophomore at Collegiate (Richmond, Va.), is one of the best high school basketball players in the nation. The 5-foot-7 point guard, who has given a verbal commitment to Stanford, is also the sister of NFL star Russell Wilson. She blogs for espnW.

All athletes have to learn to deal with injuries. Although I have been blessed not to have had too many, I have definitely had my share. Injuries are not only a type of adversity, though. They are also a learning experience. We can try to prevent them as much as possible by stretching after practice, icing sore muscles and working in the weight room, but sometimes injuries happen because we are still human.

[+] EnlargeAnna Wilson Knee
Courtesy of Anna WilsonStaying positive -- even when your knee is all wrapped up -- is key to coping with an injury.

This high school basketball season, I was out for five weeks with a knee injury. I did not have any ligament tears, but it was a nagging bone bruise. Because ACL and MCL tears are so common in women’s basketball, you can imagine all the possibilities going through my mind when I heard the “pop” and hit the floor. I could not get up on my own and my knee immediately swelled up. Our trainer, Shannon Winston, instantly got on the phone with our team doctor and set up an MRI for the next day. I got my results back within 24 hours, and thankfully I was diagnosed with a bone bruise and I was able to return for the postseason.

Now you are probably wondering why I am telling you this story. Well, learning how to cope with an injury and staying positive is extremely important! Injuries usually happen unexpectedly and can keep you out for days or even months, so always be prepared mentally.

What I learned during my injury were patience, mental toughness and accountability. I sat out for several practices and eight games. And even though I hated sitting on the bench, I knew I was not ready to go full speed on the court. Mental toughness was the most important aspect for me because I am one of the leaders on my team, so staying positive and still being a vocal leader was crucial. Accountability came in when I had to do weight-room training on my own and making sure I did every rep with detail.

[+] EnlargeAnna Wilson
Courtesy of Anna WilsonAnna Wilson gets ready to play with a little cold compression therapy on her knee.

Also, when I was nervous about the severity of my injury, I grew in my faith. I had to believe that whatever the outcome, I would be OK. Other than the people from school, my coaches and my family, no one knew about my injury. I did not want to tell anyone while I was healing because I did not want any negative ideas in my head.

Learning how to cope with injuries, whether big or small, is a part of being an athlete. I know two girls who have had ACL tears -- Richmond women’s basketball signees Alicia Hudalla and Micaela Parson -- who have completely recovered and are perhaps even better than they were before their injuries.

I hope anyone who is reading this takes away that injuries are a part of any sport, but staying positive is the best thing you can do. Take care of your body, and rest is just important as working out or playing.

P.S. Congrats to everyone who did well in their state tournaments! Good luck to everyone playing this AAU season and to the seniors leaving to play college basketball. Stay healthy and work hard!


On the scene at Super Bowl XLVIII

January, 31, 2014
Jan 31
10:44
PM ET

Anna Wilson, a sophomore at Collegiate (Richmond, Va.), is one of the best high school basketball players in the nation. The 5-foot-7 point guard, who has given a verbal commitment to Stanford, is also the sister of NFL star Russell Wilson. She is blogging for espnW this weekend about her Super Bowl XLVIII adventures.

Monday


I'm with a world champion, my brother, Russell Wilson. Did I mention that this trip is a lot of fun?

Anna Wilson and RussellCourtesy Anna Wilson

It was an incredibly exciting weekend, but the best part is being with family.

Sunday


It's game day! And we're having our pregame meal -- brunch -- with friends and family in New York. Then we're off to MetLife Stadium!

Here's a picture of a few of us at brunch. From left is my sister-in-law Courtenay Wilson, my cousin Rachel Wilson (who played basketball at Penn, by the way), me, and my oldest brother Harry.

Wilson FamilyCourtesy Anna Wilson

Here's a shot just to show you the support we're sending Russell's way. Friends and family filled up three tables this morning at the restaurant!

TablesCourtesy Anna Wilson

And, at long last, here they are! Our Super Bowl XLVIII tickets! Let the countdown to kickoff begin!

Anna Wilson TicketsCourtesy Anna Wilson

The Wilsons are in the house! Check out this view of the field from our box seats! Less than four hours to kickoff!

Anna Wilson ViewCourtesy Anna Wilson

Here I am, representing the 12th Man in New Jersey! Go Hawks!

Anna WilsonCourtesy of Anna Wilson

Do I seem a little starstruck? That’s me with Justin Verlander and Shaquille O’Neal! What a day!

Anna Wilson & Shaquille O'NealCourtesy Anna Wilson

Need to see more to believe the kind of day I'm having? That's me, Ashton (Russell's wife), my grandma and my mom with Spike Lee.

Anna Wilson and Spike LeeCourtesy Anna Wilson

And just one more. Because that's Jamie Foxx. We're trying to do a selfie and a video at the same time!

Anna Wilson  and Jamie FoxxCourtesy Anna Wilson

Enough about the stars in our box. How about the fireworks in the halftime sky!

Anna WilsonCourtesy Anna Wilson

So crazy to think that my brother is about to win the Super Bowl ...

It's final. Seattle 43, Denver 8. Go Hawks!

And there he is, up at the podium for his news conference. Surreal.

Russell WilsonCourtesy Anna Wilson



And there's the 12th Man celebrating. As champions!

ChampionsCourtesy Anna Wilson

Saturday


We are on our way to New Jersey at last, and Russell sent me a couple great pictures that will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the Super Bowl atmosphere. I thought you'd like to take a look.

Here's a photo of Russell's locker for the next couple days.

Russell WilsonCourtesy Anna Wilson

And here is Russell on the field -- he's the one in the middle -- before those stands fill up with all of us fans!

Russell WilsonCourtesy Anna Wilson

Friday

Today was my last day of school before heading to Super Bowl XLVIII with several of my family members. I can't wait! I am immensely excited to be a part of such an incredible experience, and hopefully this will be the first of many. I will be taking plenty of pictures between now and kickoff!

My school, Collegiate, celebrated "Roar For Russell" Day on Friday. Here I am with second-grader Cooper Winston, pointing out our favorite player.

Anna WilsonCourtesy of Anna Wilson

Here's a shot from outside Collegiate's Hershey Center for the Arts at the end of the day.

Anna Wilson CollegiateCourtesy Anna Wilson.

Check back later. There's lots more to come!

Psyched for Russell's big day

January, 27, 2014
Jan 27
2:29
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Anna WilsonCourtesy Anna WilsonThe Wilson family will be gathering in New York and New Jersey this weekend to watch Russell Wilson play in his first Super Bowl.

Anna Wilson, a sophomore at Collegiate High (Richmond, Va.), is one of the best high school basketball players in the nation. The 5-foot-7 point guard, who has given a verbal commitment to Stanford, is also the sister of NFL star Russell Wilson. She blogs for espnW.

In Honor of Super Bowl XLVIII:

I was in third grade when my brother Russell was a sophomore in high school and my oldest brother, Harry, was in college at the University of Richmond. Growing up, I remember going to both of my brothers’ games, whether it was football, basketball or baseball.

I vividly recall going to Russell’s football games at Collegiate. There were always two really big games, against St. Christopher’s, a local private school, and Godwin. Godwin was a public school that Collegiate always played, and it was one of the biggest games because it was the only one under the lights.

Russell Show
Courtesy of Anna WilsonAnna Wilson recalls the crazy atmosphere when Collegiate took on rival Godwin.

Both student sections would be packed, and Godwin had a sign up that said, “The ‘Russell Show’ Stops Here” (unfortunately for Godwin that was not the case). Harry and Russell accumulated multiple state championships at Collegiate. Russell would walk around the house days before the state championship game and say, “We going to the ship!” I guess Russell has stuck to that phrase since high school, to his college years and to the pros.

The great part about having siblings, when they have the same passion as you, is that you get to learn from their success and failures. Russell learned from Harry, and I am continuing to learn from Harry and Russell.

On Sunday, Russell and the Seahawks will be playing in Super Bowl XLVIII, which is still mind-boggling to me, but not surprising considering that I picked the Seahawks to go to the Super Bowl anyway (lol). That will be a day my family will never forget, and Chapter 1 to the things Russell will accomplish in the NFL.

I will be attending Super Bowl XLVIII, as will several of my family members. I am immensely excited to be a part of such an incredible experience, and hopefully this will be the first of many. I will be taking plenty of pictures and videos for those not able to come, and I will upload them straight to my Twitter, to Instagram and to espnW for anyone who would like to be a part of the experience, too.

Russell, when you get the chance to read this, I want you to know that I am extremely proud of you. You have been a role model to me and other aspiring athletes. Your work ethic is contagious and second to none. Be thankful for the favor you have had over your life and the gifts God has blessed you with. Most importantly, I love you!

Go Hawks and with much love,

Anna Wilson

P.S. stay tuned for some awesome pictures of Super Bowl XLVIII live from East Rutherford, N.J.!

Three journals, singular resolve

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
3:39
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Anna WilsonCourtesy USA BasketballIf one of Anna Wilson's goals was to become one of the top basketball prospects in the nation, she can check it off her list.

Anna Wilson, a sophomore at Collegiate High (Richmond, Va.), is one of the best high school basketball players in the nation. The 5-foot-7 point guard, who has given a verbal commitment to Stanford, is also the sister of NFL star Russell Wilson. She has agreed to blog for espnW.

We’re now more than a full week into the New Year, and most people have finished making their resolutions. The greatest part about a New Year is the chance to have a fresh start and grow from the previous one.

Between us, I have never made a New Year’s resolution, but I do write down my goals in three separate journals. In each journal I write about one of three specific topics: my goals as a person, as a student and as an athlete. I keep them with me all the time, whether at home or in my basketball bag. Why? Because I always want to be reminded of what I am trying to achieve.

Writing down my goals in three separate journals also serves as a reminder that all of my goals are not the same. I am not just a person, but a role model to kids who look up to me. I am not just a student; I want to be educated enough to hold an intellectual conversation and be engaged with my classmates. I am not just an athlete or basketball player; I want to use basketball as a platform for something much greater.

Over the past year, I took part in some amazing things. I traveled to Colorado Springs and participated in the U16 USA Basketball trials. I had the opportunity to be a part of three great elite camps, including at Stanford. I won two national championships in July with my AAU team. And right before starting my sophomore year I gave my verbal commitment to Stanford University. I was blessed to be a part of all those events and really enjoyed all of my experiences last year. But the goals I have written in my journals are much more grand.

Writing down my goals and putting motivational quotes on my mirror was inspired by my brother, Russell. I remember him being in high school, and seeing all of his goals and dreams typed up on his desk. He also had a list of what people said and how they doubted him. Looking back on what he had on that list, I am pretty sure he has achieved a lot of that stuff, and succeed in the areas others doubted that he could.

I have also learned that writing down your goals is more effective if you go back to look at what you wrote down. Writing this blog has even helped me to look back at what I have achieved this past year and also reminded me of the things I still need to work on. I challenge anyone who is reading this to keep a journal and start writing down your goals, dreams and aspirations.

One goal that I want to accomplish this year is to step outside of my comfort zone. One of the most successful men in history, the third president of the United States of America, Thomas Jefferson, once said, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

So what are your goals for the year?

With much love,


Anna Wilson

Family's presence is best present

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
12:39
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Anna Wilson and Russell WilsonCourtesy Anna WilsonAnna Wilson had a chance to toss the football around with her brothers after attending the Seahawks' practice last Friday.

Anna Wilson, a sophomore at Collegiate High (Richmond, Va.), is one of the best high school basketball players in the nation. The 5-foot-7 point guard, who has given a verbal commitment to Stanford, is also the sister of NFL star Russell Wilson. She has agreed to blog for espnW. This is her first submission.


In the craziness of the holiday season and the new year that is approaching, sometimes we forget what really matters, and as Christmas Day drew near, I began to reflect on what that day really means.

[+] EnlargeAnna Wilson
Courtesy Anna WilsonThe Wilson siblings, from left, Russell, Anna and Harry, are rarely in the same place at the same time, which is why Anna cherishes pictures like this one.

It is more than just the Christmas music and presents under the beautifully lit-up tree. I have been more than blessed during this past year and holiday season. I could not be any more thankful for what God, my family, teammates, teachers and coaches have done for me.


The first half of my winter break I got the chance to spend time with my family. The majority of time was spent in the great city of Seattle. I was only there for a week and a half, but I can definitely say we made the most of our time together. During that time, I stayed away from basketball to relax, heal up and be with family. I am not going to lie ... it was nice to be off school, as well as basketball.

The days leading up to Christmas Day were filled with things to do -- like going to Russell's practice, attending the Seahawks’ Christmas dinner, traveling to watch the Tennessee vs. Stanford women’s basketball game, returning for the Seahawks’ game and participating in our family cook-off.

Russell's practice was really cool, mainly because we got the chance to see what he does every day and what game preparations are like. Afterward, it was fun throwing around the football with my brothers and meeting the head coach of the Seahawks, Pete Carroll.

[+] EnlargeAnna Wilson
Courtesy Anna WilsonAnna Wilson, lined up to be a future Stanford star, poses with former Stanford star and current Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.

Later that night, my family got dressed up to go to the Seahawks’ dinner party. The part that made my day was probably the picture I got with my brothers in front of the Christmas tree at the dinner party. Even though I have plenty of pictures with each of them, it is rare for us all to be together at once.

The next day my mom and I traveled to the Tennessee vs. Stanford game. Even though there were few students on campus because of break, the game was sold out and the atmosphere was awesome. I had a great time on the Farm.

My mom and I had to travel back that night to make sure we were back in time for the Seahawks-Cardinals game the next morning. We all got up early and put on our gear, ready to support. My family gets hyped up for game day as if we all are about to play. The game was great, and my whole family got to go on the field for the first time. I love the Seahawks’ fans because they are so dedicated and cheer the whole game. The 12th man is so surreal.

The night before Christmas Eve, Russell and his wife, Ashton, made an announcement that we would be having a family cook-off. Everyone paired up, so I was partnered with my mom. My mom and I made a chicken and bean stew and a wedge salad. Our presentation was phenomenal and I whipped together a short video to introduce our menu.

[+] EnlargeAnna Wilson
Courtesy Anna WilsonAnna Wilson -- here with her mom, Tammy, and grandmother Carolyn Wilson -- says all the Wilsons get pumped up for game day as if they were going to play.

Only problem with the cook-off was that my family is very competitive, which is not a bad thing, but there was definitely tension in the room. I thought it was a great idea, and plenty of food was left over for Christmas Day, so no one had to cook.

Christmas Day everyone got up at a decent time to open presents. Harry, my oldest brother, played Santa’s helper by passing out gifts. The best gift I received was the time spent with my family. No material thing could possibly replace the week and a half I had with them. I love my family and I know that they are always supportive of me.

I hope everyone spent a little time with their family and with the people they love the most this holiday season.

I also want to thank espnW for giving me the opportunity to write about my winter break and Christmas experience. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



With much love,



Anna Wilson

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