COLUMBIA, S.C. – For the second time in as many seasons South Carolina junior Aliyah Boston earned AP Preseason All-America honors, the Associated Press announced today. The Gamecocks’ leading rebounder and second-leading scorer from last season was a unanimous First-Team All-American last season and captured Second-Team All-America honors as a freshman.
Quickly rising among the most decorated Gamecocks in women’s basketball history, Boston was the unanimous National Freshman of the Year in 2020 and The Athletic National Player of the Year in 2021. She brought home the Lisa Leslie Award in both seasons, becoming the first repeat winner in that award’s history. Boston’s career double-double average (13.1 ppg, 10.4 rpg) includes 13.2 ppg and 11.3 rpg in SEC games with 13.7 ppg and 11.5 rpg in 28 career games against ranked opponents.
Shaking off the idea of a sophomore slump early last season, Boston finished the year ranked 13th in the NCAA in rebounds per game (11.5), 18th in blocks per game (2.6) and fifth in double-doubles (17). She was the only player in the nation to be a finalist for both the Naismith Trophy and Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. Seventeen of her 30 career double-doubles came in 2020-21 with both numbers ranking eighth in program history. In addition to her national awards and SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year honors, Boston became the program’s first CoSIDA Women’s Basketball Academic All-American of the Year.
The Gamecocks will host Benedict in an exhibition game at Colonial Life Arena on Mon., Nov. 1, before officially opening the season at AP Preseason No. 5 NC State.