Simpson alumna signs contract to play basketball in Brazil

Simpson University Sports News


REDDING, Calif. - Over the summer, former Red Hawk women’s basketball player Ariassa Wilson signed a professional basketball contract to play with Rio Claro in Brazil. She had played two games by mid-September, starting in one of them.

Wilson is the only American and person who speaks English on her team and said translating is difficult. Even though she has to use cell phones and Google to communicate with her teammates and coach, she said she still enjoys every moment.

“It’s been a dream since I was a kid to play pro ball. Many times it didn’t seem like it was going to happen, but God is a good God, and He's seen all the work that I put in regardless of whether I thought it was going to happen or not,” said Wilson. “I believe God rewards work. Every day I wake up and have to remind myself that I’m a professional basketball player; I get paid to do what I love. How cool is that?”

Wilson transferred to Simpson in 2011 to complete her degree in youth ministries and continue playing basketball at the college level after being a standout guard for two years at Highline Community College in Tacoma, Wash. Her junior year and first season with Simpson was full of challenges, including a torn mensiscus, which cut her season short. Having to sit out the rest of the season only fueled her passion for the game of basketball and what she wanted her senior year to look like.

Wilson’s senior year was full of accomplishments. She led the team in rebounds with 6.89 per game and a total of 181 in the season. She also led the Red Hawks in assists with 2.27 per game and a total of 59 over the course of the season. She finished fourth in assists and total rebounds and 11th in scoring in the California Pacific Conference. She was named to the Cal Pac 1st Team in 2012 and was an NAIA and NCCAA Scholar Athlete in 2012 and 2013.

Ariassa was a very focused young woman," said Derrick Pringle Jr., Simpson’s head women’s basketball coach. “She brought a sense of passion and enthusiasm to our program that I don't think will ever be matched. She was not just a gifted basketball player but a scholar-athlete. I am extremely happy that she has reached her goal and dream to play professional basketball and am blessed to have been able to coach her at Simpson."


Written by Nichole Jones

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Contact: Derrick Pringle, Jr.
(530) 226-4731