Dawn Staley Roasts a’ja Wilson’s Rebounding on Instagram Live

  • Dawn Staley is still offering feedback to A’ja Wilson 3 years after she left South Carolina.
  • The Gamecocks head coach playfully critiqued the 2020 WNBA MVP’s rebounding efforts this season.
  • “You can’t even get to a double-double!” Staley said during an Instagram live with her former star.

A’ja Wilson has been out of school for three years, but her college coach still won’t miss an opportunity to continue pushing her former star to be her best whenever she can.

Dawn Staley coached Wilson and her South Carolina teammates to a national championship during the star forward’s junior season with the Gamecocks. Since then, Wilson has moved on to Las Vegas, where she’s become the Aces’ most lethal weapon. She’s now a three-time All-Star, the WNBA’s reigning MVP, and a newly-minted Olympic gold medalist.

Dawn Staley (left) and A'ja Wilson.

Wilson (right) and Staley celebrate winning gold in Tokyo.

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

But according to Staley, she still has work to do. The 2020 consensus collegiate coach of the year — who also won gold in Tokyo as USA Basketball’s head coach — playfully critiqued Wilson’s game during a recent Instagram Live session. Staley was in the middle of practice with her current South Carolina team while chatting with Wilson. The latter appeared to be sitting at home and looked entirely unamused as Staley ridiculed her rebounding efforts.

“You can’t even get to a double-double!” Staley said as the video scanned her team’s practice. “I mean, you’re averaging like nine. How can you be short of a double-double with like nine rebounds?”

“Who does that?!” she added. “Even that thing out! It’s contract year.”

A'ja Wilson.


AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Staley’s right; Wilson is headed into free agency for the first time in her young career at the end of this season, so there’s lots of money on the line. But with 18.3 points per game this year — good for sixth-highest across the entire league — and an MVP award freshly in her back pocket, the 6-foot-4 superstar is all but guaranteed to command a supermax contract regardless of her double-double shortcomings.

And Wilson’s 9.3 boards per game in 2021 — a career-high tally — are nothing to laugh about. Her rebounding has improved considerably since her second year in the league when she averaged just 6.5 rebounds per game, and her current average ranks top-10 across the entire WNBA.

While Wilson wouldn’t fight back against her former college and Team USA coach, she did make sure to note that her “assists are up” this year because she’s “passing the ball.” She averaged 2.0 assists per game during her MVP campaign, and she’s up to 3.1 dimes per contest this season.

a'ja wilson

Wilson passes the ball.

AP Photo/John Locher

Staley said, “I’ll give you that,” but added that she expects great passing from a player of Wilson’s caliber.

“You’re the MVP, so I expect that,” Staley said. “You don’t have to tell us what you’re doing!”

Wilson relented from there, admitting that Staley was right and adding, “Thanks. I appreciate it,” in a defeated tone. Later, when someone shared a clip of the conversation to Twitter, Wilson reshared it and wrote, “Coach really be talking like we on FaceTime 😂 😂 😩 like chilllllll.”

Check out their entire exchange below:



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