For many players in the WNBA, this year’s Olympic games allowed for an extended break to rest, rejuvenate, maybe take a vacation, or even return home to see family and friends.
In Aaliyah Wilson’s case, it was the opportunity to return home to Muskogee, Oklahoma where she received a special celebration. Muskogee mayor Marlon Coleman presented her with a key to the city and a proclamation that declared July 17, 2021 as “Aaliyah Wilson Day.”
key to my city 🤝 my hood love me pic.twitter.com/fuWWdORzjV
— Aaliyah Wilson (@aaliwilson2) July 20, 2021
“[It was] definitely a surreal moment. I don’t think I fully grasped on to what it was until that exact moment [but] it was heartwarming just seeing everybody and how much support I got.
“Just seeing the keys to the city being handed to me speaks volumes just cause like the town I’m from, I take pride in. So being able to do what I’ve done and them come back home and get recognition for that it was a really a good feeling.”
A product of Muskogee High, Wilson led the team to three state tournament appearances and went on to be named a McDonald’s All-American. From there she took her talents to Texas A&M where she continued to grow and thrive on and off the court before being selected 11th overall in the 2021 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm and then later traded to the Indiana Fever.
Although Wilson has since returned to Indiana, as she and the Fever prepare for the second half of the 2021 WNBA season, the rookie says she is already thinking of ways to continue to inspire and impact her community back home in a positive way.
“With them giving me my own day, my hope is to throw some type of event on that day moving forward. It might be a basketball camp, neighborhood block party or just some type of community event for kids. Whatever it is, I just want to be some consistently done every year and something to expand on each year so I can make it bigger and bigger.”