A’ja Wilson Set for Return to South Carolina with Aces for Preseason Game Versus Puerto Rico National Team, May 11

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (February 29, 2024)—The Las Vegas Aces announced today that they will play a preseason game against the Puerto Rico National Team at the University of South Carolina on Saturday, May 11. Hosted by ProHoops Sports & Events, the game will mark a homecoming for the 2018 consensus NCAA Player of the Year and two-time WNBA M’VP A’ja Wilson, who led the Gamecocks to their first NCAA Championship in 2017.

Tickets for the game, which tips at 1 pm ET at Colonial Life Arena, start at $20 each, and go on sale at 12 pm ET/9 am PT on March 3 via Ticketmaster.com.

“I’m excited and can’t wait to return to Columbia with my Aces team,” said Wilson, South Carolina’s first No. 1 WNBA Draft pick. “It’s my dream to be able to go back to the place where it all started and showcase what my skills are now. This means the world to me, and I’m very much looking forward to it.”

“What a recognition of our city and our FAMS for the two-time WNBA Champion Las Vegas Aces to create a special event here in Columbia,” said South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley. “Obviously, we’re excited to see A’ja play on her former home court at Colonial Life Arena again, but we also love to see this kind of creative decision-making that allows our sport to continue to grow on all levels.”

In addition to Wilson, the back-to-back WNBA Champion Aces roster also features three-time WNBA champions Alysha Clark, Chelsea Gray and Candace Parker; and two-time W champs Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, Kiah Stokes, Sydney Colson and Kierstan Bell. The Aces are coached by Naismith and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Becky Hammon.

Puerto Rico is one of 12 nations that will feature in the 2024 Paris Olympic women’s basketball tournament this summer, and the team will use this exhibition as part of its training in the lead-up to its second-straight Olympic berth.

In Wilson’s four years at South Carolina, the Gamecocks compiled a 129-16 (.890) record, won the 2017 NCAA Tournament, advanced to the 2015 NCAA Final Four, 2018 Elite Eight and 2016 NCAA Sweet 16, while capturing three SEC regular season titles and four SEC Tournament crowns.

In addition to being named the consensus National Player of the Year as a senior, Wilson was the 2017 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, a three-time All-America first team selection and three times earned SEC Player of the Year honors.

The game against Puerto Rico will mark Wilson’s second return to Colonial Life Arena since graduating in 2018. She played in a USA Basketball National Team intrasquad exhibition game on Sept. 5, 2018, and she recorded 16 points and 7 rebounds to help lead the USA White Team to a 100-75 win over the USA Red Team.

The Aces begin their quest for a three-peat at home on May 14 against the Phoenix Mercury.


ProHoops Sports & Events has over 60 years of combined experience in putting on the highest level of Sporting Events.

They are led by President Linda Hargrove, who has over 36 years of experience coaching at the college, university, Olympic and professional levels. She spent 11 years as a Head Coach and/or General Manager in the WNBA.

Her professional experiences include Head Coach/Director of Player Personnel for the Colorado Xplosion in the ABL, Head Coach/GM for the Portland Fire, General Manager for the Washington Mystics and Consultant for the Orlando Miracle and the Tulsa Shock. She was also on the 1992 Olympic staff in Barcelona, Spain.

Linda currently runs the ProHoops Combine at the Women’s Final Four each year for players looking to continue their playing career professionally.

COO Brian Hargrove has more than 25 years of experience working in the sports industry. He has worked two Olympic Games (Sydney & Athens), along with hosting or working many large sporting events including NBA, WNBA, NHL, USA Volleyball, USA Basketball and the NCAA Basketball Tournament.


One of the WNBA’s original franchises, the Las Vegas Aces trace their lineage to the Beehive State where they began life as the Utah Starzz. They relocated to San Antonio in 2003, before moving to the Sports & Entertainment Capital of the World prior to the 2018 season. Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis purchased the team in 2021, and Aces fans were rewarded with back-to-back WNBA Championships in 2022 and 2023. The 2022 title team also became the first major professional sports franchise to bring a championship to the state of Nevada.

After becoming the first WNBA team in more than two decades to repeat as champions a year ago, the 2024 season brings with it the opportunity for an even rarer three-peat. That effort is being led by the franchise’s core four of two-time M’VP A’ja Wilson; three-time WNBA champion Chelsea Gray; and two-time title winners Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young. At the helm is 2022 WNBA Coach of the Year Becky Hammon—one of the most decorated players in league history, and one of only two head coaches to win championships in their first two seasons.

In addition to the Aces success on the court, they have been equally successful off of it. In March of 2022 the team moved into a 50,000 square foot headquarters—the first complex built solely for use by a WNBA team. Heading into the 2024 season, Las Vegas has sold more season tickets than any team in WNBA history, and they are on pace to become the first team in the history of the league to sell out all of its regular season games.