A’ja Wilson talked about her relationships with Dawn Staley and Bill Laimbeer and took us through her basketball journey in a lighthearted conversation with move star/comedian Kevin Hart on Hart’s YouTube show “Cold as Balls” Tuesday morning.
The episode was the finale of the show’s fifth season, which included professional wrestler The Undertaker, snowboarder Chloe Kim, and NFL legend turned TV star Michael Strahan. Cold as Balls can be seen on the Laugh Out Loud YouTube channel, Cold as Balls Facebook page, and Hart’s Facebook page.
Wilson said that she struggled with basketball when she first started playing at around 13. She also said that she considered transferring from South Carolina during her freshman year of college. But then she and Hart got into her successes, beginning with the 2017 national championship with the Gamecocks. Wilson said that junior year was undoubtedly her favorite of college.
Wilson referred to Staley, South Carolina’s head coach, as like a second mother and said that she knew wanted to play for a Black woman. In a funny moment, she said that the best advice Staley ever gave her was ‘don’t f*** up.’
Wilson then got into her WNBA days and said she really enjoys playing for Las Vegas Aces head coach Bill Laimbeer, who made a name for himself in the NBA as a member of the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons. Wilson said each member of the Aces is allowed one hug from Laimbeer per year.
As seen in a preview clip, Wilson discussed what it was like to win the 2020 WNBA MVP award and how she handled mental health in the Bradenton, Fla. wubble that season. Wilson is a big advocate for mental health, a topic she touched on in her open letter, “Dear Black Women,” which appeared on The Players’ Tribune.
Another interesting thing Wilson mentioned was how trolls come at the WNBA, but then they realize that their favorite NBA players are fans of the W and they lose their momentum. She said she is glad to have that support from NBA players.
The episode ends with Wilson and Hart squaring off in karaoke.
It was good of Hart to have a women’s basketball player on his show. He has a long history of competing against WNBA players at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. As he braggingly mentions to Wilson in the episode, he is a four-time MVP of that event.
Check out the full episode because there are lots of other funny moments not mentioned here!