Nov. 21, 2002
Tallahassee, Fla. –
A new era of basketball has arrived at Florida State University and it has come by the name of Leonard Hamilton. Hamilton comes to Florida State with a reputation of turning programs around and installing an intense work ethic into the attitudes of his players.
If there is one player on the Florida State basketball team who will meet coach Hamilton’s demands head on it will be Andrew Wilson. Wilson is a scrappy, young player who possesses not only the athletic tools necessary to be a great basketball player, but also has the intangible qualities such as leadership and intensity. Wilson is a complete player and after his 2001 season was cut short due to a knee injury, he is back healthy again and ready to lead the Seminole basketball team.
When Wilson’s 2001 season came to an abrupt end last year he was shocked and unsure on how the remainder of his basketball career here at FSU would turn out.
“At first I was devastated, I had really never had a major injury before and I didn’t know how to react to it,” said Wilson about his knee injury.
Well, he reacted just fine, and what at first seemed to be a major setback turned into a golden opportunity for Wilson and he seized it. Wilson was granted a medical redshirt last year and took that time to focus on becoming a better player. He worked relentlessly in the weight room and showed the same effort on the court when it came to getting his basketball skills back in shape. He also took the time to sit back and become a more focused basketball player.
“The biggest thing for me has been the mental part of my game,” said Wilson. “I feel I have the physical tools and the skills to be a good player and at this point I just have to put it all together mentally. I know I can go out there and get the job done.”
By the time coach Hamilton and his new staff arrived at Florida State, Wilson did have it together and was ready to show everyone that he was back and ready to go.
Wilson is a player who leads by example on the court. It has been said that Wilson is the blood and guts player of the team and that he even leads the team in floor burns. However you want to describe Wilson’s hustle, understand that he is the very definition of what it means to give 110 percent. He wants nothing more than to lead the Florida State basketball team to its full potential.
“I think that if you don’t set high goals that you are never going to get there,” said Wilson. “I think I am one of the leaders and I want to help lead this team to the NCAA tournament.”
Wilson was thought of as basketball’s version of the utility player during his first season at Florida State. His ability to combine a silky smooth shot and powerful drive to the basket enabled him to see a collection of minutes at different positions.
Times have changed at Florida State and with a new head coach and a new offensive system in place. Still, Wilson will is concentrating on becoming more of a more consistent shooter for the Seminoles and will be seeing most of his minutes at either the small forward or shooting guard position this season.
“Coach Hamilton has sat down with us individually and told us what our role on the team is going to be,” said Wilson about his contributions to the team. “One thing that I am going to have to concentrate on is being a consistent shooter. That is something that we have lacked in the past and I am ready to step up and take on that responsibility.”
There is an excitement that surrounds the start of basketball season that has not been around Florida State University in quite some time. The addition of a new head coach and a young crop of talented players have the fans ready and eager for the start of the season. The players have been caught up in the excitement and are ready to get back on the court.
No player is more eager than Andrew Wilson.
He has worked tremendously hard through a very long and tedious off-season and he is ready to show why he is one of the top players in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He has overcome injury, focused on his game and is ready to lead this team to new and exciting places.
Wilson compares the up coming season to the old adage that Rome was not built in one day, and he knows that this season will be a learning experience.
“We have to go out and play as hard as possible, it’s going to be a learning experience early on and we have to be able to build off our learning experiences,” said Wilson.
All in all this young athlete has a great career ahead of him and there is not a better way to get it started than with a new coach, a new season and a new outlook that will have Wilson and the Seminoles being a strong force to reckon with.
By Dan Flaherty
Sports Information Student Assistant