SAN ANTONIO – Women’s basketball Captain Lena Wilson is in her senior season at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU). Although this is her final season, she will be remembered as one of OLLU’s elite basketball players.
On Nov. 29, 2019, against Panhandle State University, Wilson solidified herself in the record books by joining the elite 1,000 points club. For those that do not know what the 1,000 point club is, it is a group that consists of only 14 men and women that have scored 1,000 or more points in their collegiate career with OLLU. Wilson is the eighth female to accomplish this massive milestone in OLLU history.
Wilson missed the two previous games with an ankle injury leading up to the game she scored her 1,000th point. The two games missed were on the road, so she looked at it as a sign that God wanted her to score her 1,000th point in front of the home crowd. Wilson only needed three points entering the game to hit the coveted points goal. On her second trip to the free-throw line, she managed to keep her composure and nailed her shots, sending her into the OLLU record books. The entire gym was in a dead silence waiting on the final shot to get her in the books, and when Wilson hit it, the crowd erupted in celebration for her. Wilson’s teammates immediately congratulated her as a rush of excitement overtook her, especially since she was able to share the moment with her family in the crowd. Knowing she cannot let up now and must remain efficient on offense to help the team reach their overall goals.
“What we say is, all gas no brake,” Wilson said.
Wilson is from Converse, TX, located right outside the San Antonio city limits, and began playing basketball at the age of 11 in the sixth grade. She quickly realized that she had a knack for the game and began working with a basketball trainer because Wilson knew this was something she wanted to do long-term. Wilson felt basketball was something that came naturally to her and made it easier for her to pick up things quicker. Wilson played basketball throughout middle school and high school. She graduated from Judson High School in 2016 before beginning her collegiate career at OLLU.
(Fun fact: Wilson is right-handed, but she is left-hand dominant when coming to basketball, meaning she shoots with her left instead of her right.)
Wilson’s mom, a former basketball player herself, was the most significant influence in the senior’s life. At times Wilson wanted to give up and flat out quit the game, but her mom was always there to help motivate and push her to keep working and to never give up. Wilson’s parents had high expectations for their daughter, knowing she had a special gift and always did their best to keep her on track.
Wilson learned valuable life-skills like discipline and structure while playing basketball, which allowed her to gain other skills that have helped her along the way. One particular trait she has learned through playing is the ability to communicate with others effectively. Another one she felt was important is being able to take constructive criticism from coaches or other players, and using that to improve her game and skills in life off the court.
“On the court, we have to communicate, so off the court, my communication skills have gotten better,” Wilson said. “I can walk up to a person and just start a conversation, and I can communicate better just because that is what I am doing daily.”
Playing in her final season with OLLU, Wilson has some big plans after graduation. Wilson, a Kinesiology major, plans to pursue becoming a Physical Therapist, so this summer, she will be busy shadowing physical therapists to get the required hours needed to attend a Physical Therapy program.
Lena Wilson’s Awards
- NAIA All-America Award Honorable Mention: 2018-2019
- Red River All-Conference Team: 2017-2018 (Second Team), 2018-2019 (First Team)
- Red River All-Tournament Team Most Valuable Player: 2018-2019
- Red River Athletic Scholar-Athlete: 2016-2017
- Saints 1,000-Point Club: 2019-2020
NAIA Current Individual National Rankings
- Ranks Number 20 in Division I in Field Goal Pct (0.487)
- Ranks Number 42 in Division I in Total Scoring (310)
- Ranks Number 49 in Division I in Points per Game (14.762)