Colorado Springs, CO – Kayla Wilson of the national champion Hostos (NY) Caimans has been tabbed the 2017-18 Spalding® NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, announced by the women’s basketball committee on Thursday.
Wilson and the Caimans captured the national title on March 17 with a 58-52 victory over Rock Valley. In the title match, Wilson led Hostos with a team-high 22 points and 13 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes. For her efforts, Wilson was named Tournament MVP. On Wednesday, Wilson added NJCAA First Team All-American to her freshman campaign.
A Brooklyn, NY native, Wilson’s freshman campaign included 18.2 points per game and 13.1 rebounds per contest while leading Hostos to a 28-2 record. Wilson registered double-digit scoring efforts in all but two games during the season with a career-high 38 in the semifinal round of the national tournament.
Hostos head coach DeVernie Winston commended Wilson for her exceptional freshman campaign. "Kayla Wilson is a phenomenal young lady that excelled on the basketball court and in the classroom. She boasts a 3.6 GPA and prides herself on being dedicated, committed, and putting in the work day in and day out. Her goal this season was to just be the best she could be; come in, develop her skill set and help the team compete at a national level. Kayla trusted the system and embodied the "We Not Me" mentality. Knowing she could have averaged upwards of 30 points per game, she sacrificed her personal numbers to ensure that her teammates could see individual and team success as well. Kayla is the consummate teammate and has aspirations to continue her athletic and academic career at the Division 1 level."
Wilson totaled 25 double-doubles in her rookie season with an impressive streak of 20 in a row to finish the season. Wilson posted three games with at least 20 rebounds on the year, including a season-best 24 in the team’s semifinal victory of the national championship.
Winston added on to his praise of the freshman standout. "Achieving this award means a great deal for the women's basketball program at Hostos Community College. We stress "Everybody Eats" in our program and that anyone can have a phenomenal game at any given time and on any given day. We do not have anyone that achieves the D3 NJCAA "Player of the Week" distinction and our players accept that knowing that each player contributes to the overall success of the program. Having Kayla Wilson be named the Spalding DIII Women's Basketball Player of the Year is a huge accomplishment and is a testament to the support that we receive from our Athletic Department and hard work our young ladies put in to representing themselves, the program and our institution. It's an honor and we're thankful for the recognition."
Wilson was also awarded Region XV Tournament MVP and Region XV Player of the Year to add to a stellar season.