Lawriell Wilson was ranked as a three star recruit and the number 25 point guard in the country by ESPN. Then, she tore her anterior cruciate ligament in the state championship during her senior year of high school. After the injury, some schools lost interest in Wilson but Tallahassee Community College continued to be proactive in her recruitment.
“The coaches were the most consistent and I felt a relationship with them.” Wilson said about her decision to attend TCC. “I just decided to come here because I trusted them.”
Her trust in TCC’s coaches paid off. Wilson will leave Tallahassee as the most productive women’s player in the college’s history.
She became the Eagles all-time leading scorer by finishing her career with 1,127 total points. This surpassed the previous record of 1,055 points scored by Syreeta Bromfield from 1999-01.
Wilson also finished as the Eagles single-season scoring leader by recording 678 points during her sophomore year and broke the school-record for career field goals made with 412.
Her accomplishments are even more impressive when you consider that Wilson was forced to miss the 2015 season while rehabbing from the high school ACL injury and wasn’t quite back to her old self in 2016.
“I didn’t know how I was going to come back and be able to play.” Wilson said. “When I came back I felt like I was a little slow. I had some games I knew I should be better but I just wasn’t there yet.”
Despite her knee not being at full strength, Wilson instantly became a game-changer. She averaged 18 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game over 25 appearances. At the end of the season, Wilson was named the Panhandle Conference freshman of the year while also leading the conference in scoring.
Even with a breakout star in Wilson, the Eagles finished 15-15 in 2016. TCC head coach Franqua Bedell believes that’s a credit to Wilson.
“We wouldn’t have gone 15-15 without her and if we had some help we probably would’ve been in the national tournament.” Bedell said. “We put more players around her which made her better and the team better. She did a great job this year.”
Wilson put in the time to improve her ball handling and point guard skills before her sophomore season. She also worked to become more vocal and to be a better leader for her team.
With a fully healthy Wilson and a more competitive team, the Eagles flourished this past season. TCC finished 23-8 and earned an at-large bid to the NJCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001. Wilson improved on almost all of her numbers, averaging 21.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game over 31 appearances. Her stellar season culminated with her being named the co-conference player of the year.
Now, she’ll turn to deciding her future. Wilson’s record-setting career at TCC has earned her interests from numerous colleges with prestigious academic and basketball programs. She’s narrowed her collegiate choice down to three schools, University of Central Florida, Louisiana State University, and Rutgers University.
Even though it’s time for her to move on, Wilson will always remember this season at TCC.
“This is an experience I’ll never forget. In three years we never made it the state tournament, never made it to nationals, and this year we got there.” Wilson said. “Even though we didn’t win it all we started something and made history.”