Aliyah Boston forgoes 5th year at South Carolina, declares for WNBA draft

Fox News Flash top sports headlines for April 1

South Carolina Gamecocks Alia Boston has made an important decision about her future.

In a social media post, the 2023 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year announced that she is forgoing her final year of eligibility and is announcing WNBA draft.

“God make no mistake, this program has been so good for my family and me. I wouldn’t trade these past 4 years for anything. With a loving gamecock nation,” Boston wrote in a tweet on Saturday.

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Aliyah Boston of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts during a National Championship Trophy presentation after defeating the UConn Huskies 64-49 in the 2022 NCAA National Championship game at Target Center on April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis.

Aliyah Boston of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts during a National Championship Trophy presentation after defeating the UConn Huskies 64-49 in the 2022 NCAA National Championship game at Target Center on April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

She added that leaving South Carolina was her “second best decision”.

“In this moment, I am feeling so upset that I am making the next best decision of my life,” she wrote. “I have decided to pursue my dream by declaring for the 2023 WNBA Draft.”

Her decision came after South Carolina State’s undefeated season ended Friday night. Iowa star Caitlin Clark He scored a record-breaking 41 points, leading the Hawkeyes to a 77-73 upset victory in the Final Four.

Boston helped South Carolina win its second national title last season and is a three-time consensus All-American.

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Boston won the Wooden Award in 2022 and was a finalist again this season. She is widely projected to be the No. 1 pick in the draft on April 10. Indiana fever is the best.

Aliyah Boston (4) of the South Carolina Gamecocks shoots down the Iowa Hawkeyes during the semifinals of the NCAA Final Four tournament at the American Airlines Center on March 31, 2023, in Dallas.

Aliyah Boston (4) of the South Carolina Gamecocks shoots down the Iowa Hawkeyes during the semifinals of the NCAA Final Four tournament at the American Airlines Center on March 31, 2023, in Dallas. (Photo by Benslimane/NCAA via Getty Images)

Boston had the option to stay with the Gamecocks for a fifth season because the 2019-29 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said she had not yet decided to turn professional when questioned by reporters after the game against Iowa on Friday. But Boston made its decision with a blessing Technical Director Don Staley.

Alia Boston of South Carolina holds the championship trophy after defeating Tennessee 74-58 to win the championship game at the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Greenville, South Carolina, March 5, 2023.

Alia Boston of South Carolina holds the championship trophy after defeating Tennessee 74-58 to win the championship game at the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Greenville, South Carolina, March 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

“I’ll tell her to go,” Staley said Saturday. “There are defenses being played against her that won’t let her play her game, and that’s hard to manage. So I would tell her to go. She’s great. She’s ready. She’s ready to see individual coverage. She’s ready to take the next step in the league.”

Boston began playing South Carolina in 2019. Two years before joining the program, Staley led the Gamecocks to their first national title in program history.

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Boston’s collective bio tells a story of domination. She anchored the team for four seasons. South Carolina appeared in three consecutive Finals appearances with Boston taking over the starting position duties.

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