Ahead of the NBA Season’s Tip-off, Mountain Dew Ice announced some new additions to their already stacked roster. WNBA Rookie Of The Year, A’ja Wilson has just expanded her brand with a huge deal with Mountain Dew Ice that has made her the first WNBA player to represent the soft drink. The former Gamecock and Las Vegas Aces hooper was the unanimous Rookie of The Year and will join the likes of Joel Embiid, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Knox and many more on the roster.
This year, Dew has made some incredible additions to an already awesome roster of basketball stars – and we’re especially stoked to welcome our first WNBA player to the family.
–Erin Chin, senior director of marketing for Mountain Dew
— A’ja Wilson (@_ajawilson22) October 16, 2018
We got a chance to speak with her to talk about her new deal with Mountain Dew Ice and amongst other topics. Get into the interview below.
RESPECT.: Congrats on your new partnership with Mountain Dew Ice, how does it feel to be the first WNBA player to represent the drink?
A’ja: It’s definitely a big accomplishment for me, especially just being a rookie in the game and this being my first time at the professional level. To have this partnership with Mountain Dew and being one of the only females is definitely awesome, I’m excited to get working with them and help expand their brand and them helping me expand my brand as well.
You spoke out during the season about the WNBA/NBA pay gap, what message did you want to send by speaking up about it?
I was just trying to bring alot more awareness to it, I think that was the huge deal for LeBron, he has earned every penny, nickel and dime that’s in his contract. I just wanted to show people that there’s money available out there for us women. But we have to work so much harder just to get maybe a quarter of what the men get. I think that some people really didn’t understand that and they probably will never understand that but I just wanted to bring awareness to it.
There are alot of people that just don’t even understand that we don’t even get 50 percent of our revenue & it’s just the way that it was set-up and it’s not going to happen overnight. But I just wanted to show people that it’s real. We can talk about it all day and people will be like “oh this & that” but for them to see it and bring attention to it. It definitely did help us, I’m not saying my contract shot up after that tweet but it did bring more awareness around the league. I know I’m not one of the first WNBA players to speak up and I won’t be the last to talk about it but I just wanted to use my platform to shed a lot more light on something that can definitely be changed.
What are some things you want to improve on next year for the WNBA season?
The biggest thing I want to improve on probably is my mental aspect, I think I was really young and I just didn’t know. I was out there playing because I love the game and I still do love the game. But, to grasp the mental part of it, the quicker you learn that the easier it will be and the longer you will be in the league. That’s something I really want to focus on and also just expanding my game in any type of way that I can. If that means handling the ball more, shooting the 3-point shot, creating more in different things for my teammates as well. So, I think just all-around I just have alot of stuff to work on and I’m excited that’s always a good thing. I’m excited to get back to the states and continue to work on my game.
You played for Dawn Staley at South Carolina, what was the biggest thing she taught you going into your professional career?
I think the biggest thing she taught me was just “be me” she knew that I was going into a new chapter of my life, going into something that was going to be huge and all eyes are always on the #1 draft pick. Everyone want’s to see what all the hype is about and can she make the transition. She knew it was going to be tough on me so she really just told me not to change up anything and expect alot of things, just go out there and be me. It really did help me throughout the season because I really didn’t feel any pressure. I got drafted to a great team in the Las Vegas Aces where we don’t have a history, we can set our own standards and we can write our own books. I’m so happy that I was able to join them and start this new thing going into the league.
Do you have a favorite rap/hip-hop album out right now?
I love Drake. Scorpion is his most recent, I think I’ve been vibing to that lately. But yeah, I’m a huge Drake fan, I’ve always loved him and always will. (laughs)
Tell Us One Thing People Might Not Know About You?
I’m a movie fanatic. I love going to the movies, I go to the movies by myself sometimes. I just love sitting in the theater, I think Nextflix is starting to takeover and things like that but I just love going to a theater at any time of the day and watching a good movie.
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