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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Bringing the hustle, and Russell: Stanford’s Anna Wilson cheered on at Spokane NCAA game by quarterback brother

UPDATED: Fri., March 25, 2022

Former Seahawks QB Russell Wilson sat behind the Stanford bench Friday during its game with Maryland in the Spokane Arena.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Former Seahawks QB Russell Wilson sat behind the Stanford bench Friday during its game with Maryland in the Spokane Arena. (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Russell Wilson has always been there for his younger sister, Anna.

It was no different on Friday night, when Anna Wilson and the Stanford Cardinal faced Maryland in the NCAA Tournament at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

As Anna, a sixth-year grad student, and her teammates warmed up on the court, Russell and several friends took a seat behind the Stanford bench with the other players’ families.

As word spread that the former Seattle Seahawks quarterback was in the house, fans craned their necks; a few grabbed cell phones and walked to the front of Section 117. Some stood in line to get his autograph.

It’s been 12 years since their father, Harrison, died of complications of diabetes. Russell was playing college football by then, but Anna was still in elementary school.

Now she’s in her sixth year at Stanford, but Russell and their brother, Harry, have always found a way to support her.

“My brothers have been majorly supportive knowing I’ve been going through these big stages of life without my dad,” Anna said earlier this season.

Both have left big legacies, Russell leading the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl title and Anna starting last year for a Stanford squad that won the school’s first NCAA title in 29 years.

And because Anna won two extra years of eligibility – a medical redshirt two years ago and the COVID-19 exemption offered to all players – her 155 games are the most played in school history.

“When the word ‘perseverance’ comes to mind, Anna is the first person I think of,” Russell Wilson said last year.

Now both are moving on – the older brother to the Denver Broncos and the younger sister to a possible pro career, or in the workforce to use her two Stanford degrees.

Anna is grateful for the love of her older brothers.

“It’s made my family closer and helped me mature at a very young age,” she said.

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