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‘I mean, it’s huge’: Wilson, Hammon react to star’s historic NBA 2K cover

Updated July 10, 2024 - 7:19 pm

A’ja Wilson’s year of accolades, partnerships and endorsements now features a historic video game honor.

The Aces star and 2023 WNBA Finals MVP is the cover athlete for NBA 2K25’s WNBA edition, NBA 2K announced Wednesday. Wilson will also appear on the All-Star edition with recently minted NBA champion Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics. It will be the first time both leagues are represented on a 2K cover.

“I mean, it’s huge,” Wilson said. “I feel like I’m ticking off boxes. This is what I mean when I tell young people to dream big. Dream so big, because you never know when you’re gonna check them off. And it doesn’t have to happen all at once. It just kind of just happens when it needs to be. When the time is right.

“And when God puts it in your space, you’re going to be able to just attain it. So I was very overwhelmed with joy, because I don’t play video games like that. But it was a dream of mine to be the cover athlete because there’s a lot of people that do.”

The game, which is set to be released Sept. 6, will feature four editions in total. Tatum will appear alone on the standard edition, while the Hall of Fame edition will feature 2024 inductee Vince Carter on the cover.

NBA 2K added WNBA game play to its product in 2020. Former Ace Candace Parker, one of Wilson’s biggest inspirations, was the game’s first WNBA cover athlete. Parker, now retired after 16 WNBA seasons, graced the 2K22 edition cover in honor of the league’s 25th anniversary. Fellow WNBA legends Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird were on the 2K23 WNBA edition cover. The New York Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu was on the cover of the 2K24 WNBA edition.

Wilson’s appearance on the game’s cover comes on the heels of some major milestones for the two-time WNBA champion.

She unveiled a signature shoe deal with Nike in May and landed a major endorsement deal with Gatorade the same month.

Aces coach Becky Hammon is excited about the opportunities that keep coming Wilson’s way. And her oldest son Cayden will be psyched to play the game.

“Oh, I’m definitely buying it,” Hammon said. “My oldest loves NBA 2K, but he kills me, so I quit playing with him. I’m like, ‘It’s not a very nice way to play with people. You have to let them have some success if you want them to keep playing.’ But he smashes me.”

“But I’m excited. I think (Wilson’s) earned every bit of it. The cover that I saw was fire with her and Tatum both kind of getting excited on a big play, so I thought that was very cool. I’m happy for her.”

Contact Callie Lawson-Freeman at clawsonfreeman@reviewjournal.com. Follow @CallieJLaw on X.

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