Charise Wilson is entering her junior season for the University of Rhode Island women’s basketball team, already one of the program’s most impactful guards in recent memory.
She is looking to improve on an impressive resume after capturing an Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year award as a freshman and being named to Atlantic 10 second team at the end of her sophomore campaign. The sky’s the limit for the Rhode Island junior.
Out of high school, Wilson’s college choices did not include URI. Rhode Island head coach Daynia La-Force was the head coach at Northeastern University before getting the job with Rhode Island in 2014, and Wilson had originally committed to play for her at the Massachusetts-based program. When La-Force made the move to Rhode Island, Wilson followed suit.
“It was the best decision I have made,” Wilson said, regarding following La-Force to Rhode Island. “No regrets at all.”
In her time so far as a Ram, Wilson has accumulated 999 career points in two seasons, which means the first points she scores this year will push her into the top 20 of URI’s all-time scoring list. “It is in the back of my mind,” Wilson said, about approaching 1,000 career points. “It is not really important. I am going to just let the game come to it, but we are going to continue to play.”
Wilson is on pace for 1,998 career points, which would ultimately eclipse current number one Michele Washington, who played for Rhode Island from 1982-1986 and scored 1,943 career points.
Wilson strives to be a team-first player despite the individual accomplishments. La-Force says that it was an easy decision to name Wilson team captain this season. “She leads by example,” La-Force said. La-Force went on to praise Wilson for her drive both on and off the court, knowing that the team can feed off of it. “Her leadership speaks volumes.”
Wilson remains humbled by her success and the prominent role she has had during her tenure at URI, knowing that in order for her and the program to reach their full potential, it will take a collective effort.
“You cannot be successful without having girls behind your back,” Wilson said. “I have 15 girls behind me. I do not have any awards without my team.”
The URI women’s basketball team has not seen a great amount of team success since both La-Force and Wilson arrived in Kingston, with the team earning a 17-13 overall record in 2014-2015 and a 12-18 record last year. For Wilson though, her personal goals come second to the goals she sees for the team. She is intent on leading the turnaround that was expected to come in full effect last season.
“I want to see us win a championship this year,” Wilson said. “I want to see us make it to the A-10 Finals and get an appearance in the NCAA tournament. That has been on my mind since I got here as a freshman. It is a dream.”
Wilson has averaged 17.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game during her time at Rhode Island. She has became the face of Rhode Island women’s basketball, and was recently named to the Atlantic 10 preseason First Team and All-Defensive Team. This is just the beginning for Wilson. Her continued progression, along with the respect of her teammates and coaches, likely means that one day No. 3 will be hanging from the rafters in the Ryan Center.