Jan. 3, 2005
At some point in their career, every athlete experiences pain. Whether it’s a cramp, pulled muscle or serious ligament damage, playing with pain is a fact of life for athletes. But for Florida State men’s basketball player Andrew Wilson, playing through the pain is an everyday part of his life.
Take a look at Wilson during a game and the 6-foot-6 Kennesaw, Ga., native is always in motion, whether he is in the game or not. During the 20.9 minutes per game he averages, the fifth-year junior is the voice of experience on the floor and a threat from outside. Once he steps off the court, Wilson is still moving, trying to keep his body warm until it is time to go back into the game.
The history of Wilson’s injuries may be the most chronicled of any player in the history of Florida State basketball. After a solid freshman campaign in which he averaged 4.3 points per game while playing in all 30 contests, Wilson would only step onto the court for six games over the next two seasons.
In the first game of his sophomore year, he sprained the MCL in his right knee and was out for the rest of the season. After getting a medical redshirt for the 2001-02 campaign, Wilson was forced out of the line-up once again for the remainder of the year when tore a ligament in his right wrist five games into the 2002-03 season. It wouldn’t be until 2003-04 that he played a full season.
“One the things that helped motivate me was that I didn’t lose any eligibility,” Wilson said. “I knew that when coach Hamilton and his staff came in here that we were going to keep improving as a team and I wanted to be a big part of that.”
With the injuries behind him, Wilson has become the player he was on track to be following his freshman season. Last year was his best by far as he played in all 32 games with 17 starts. His career-high 24-point performance against No. 16 North Carolina that included a personal-best seven three pointers offered a glimpse into what he can do when firing on all cylinders.
This season Wilson’s importance may be measured more by the leadership he provides to the eight players that have joined the Seminoles the last two years rather than points scored. One of Wilson’s examples that the younger players can follow is his commitment to education. Taking advantage of the extra years of eligibility he has been granted, Wilson completed his undergraduate degree in sports management in four years and is now working on master’s degree while he plays his final two seasons.
“It has definitely been a process,” Wilson noted of orientating the newcomers. “The biggest thing is letting them know about the intensity they need to bring to the court every night in the ACC. I’ve also tried to show them some of the X’s and O’s to help them be more successful.”
Despite all the road bumps that Wilson has incurred during his career at Florida State, he has weathered the storm and the best has yet to come.
By Michael Smoose
FSU Sports Information