A'ja Wilson opens up about battle with dyslexia


South Carolina women's basketball star A'ja Wilson is known for a lot of things. She's known for putting up a ton of points in every game, using her 6'5" wingspan to catch every rebound she can, and she's known for having tons of fun both on and off the court.

This weekend, however, the world got to see a vulnerable side to the best player in Gamecock basketball history.

In a letter she penned in "The Players' Tribune," Wilson revealed she has dyslexia and wrote about her journey battling the learning disability in school and on the court.

"It was very difficult. It really was," Wilson said about writing the letter. "It was tough for me to kind of get that out there and off my chest."

Wilson said on Sunday before the Gamecocks' Elite Eight showdown against UConn that it's difficult for her to be vulnerable.

"I kind of grew and I then understood that this could be something that could help out a young girl or a young boy that they can understand that they're not in it alone," Wilson said.

In the letter, Wilson gives a lot of praise to her head coach at South Carolina Dawn Staley. She wrote about how patient Staley was with her and how she would make A'ja read in front of the team before practices and games to help her with her confidence.

"A'ja is so true to herself," Staley said. "If she doesn't understand something, she's gonna say 'Hold up, I don't understand this.'"

When dealing with dyslexia, Staley said it's not just about improving in the classroom. They had to help A'ja on the court as well with things like reading plays on the bench.

Staley said, "If I'm writing something on the board, sometimes I just go over and over some of the stuff. You gotta take your time and make sure she has it. If we have to scrap a play, we'll scrap a play."

You can watch Wilson and Staley's full response to her letter in the video above. To read Wilson's letter in "The Players' Tribune," click here.

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