South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston wins AP player of the year

Mar 31, 2022, 1:46 AM | Updated: 3:37 pm
Associated Press' Doug Glass gives South Carolina's Aliyah Boston the AP Player of the Year award a...

Associated Press' Doug Glass gives South Carolina's Aliyah Boston the AP Player of the Year award at a news conference at the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament Thursday, March 31, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

              Associated Press' Doug Glass gives South Carolina's Aliyah Boston the AP Player of the Year award at a news conference at the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament Thursday, March 31, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
            
              South Carolina's Aliyah Boston speaks after receiving the AP Player of the Year award at a news conference at the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament Thursday, March 31, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
            
              South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston (4) reacts while North Carolina guard Kennedy Todd-Williams, left, looks away following a college basketball game in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
            
              South Carolina forwards Aliyah Boston (4), Victaria Saxton (5) and Sania Feagin (20) celebrate after a first-round game against Howard in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament Friday, March 18, 2022 in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina won 79-21. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
            
              South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston (4) reacts after cutting the net following a college basketball game against Creighton in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, March 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
            
              South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston, top left, blocks North Carolina guard Carlie Littlefield (2) during the first half of a college basketball game in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament in in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
            
              South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston reacts following a college basketball game against North Carolina in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA women's tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Aliyah Boston dominated women’s college basketball on both ends of the court this season.

The junior forward helped South Carolina go wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country, putting up an SEC-record 27 consecutive double-doubles, and she has helped put the Gamecocks two wins away from the program’s second national championship.

Boston was honored as The Associated Press women’s basketball player of the year on Thursday. She is the second player from South Carolina to be recognized with the award, joining former Gamecocks great A’ja Wilson.

“Not often do you get the complete package. I think this recognition is for what she was able to do on both sides of the ball,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “The player of the year is usually for offensive-minded people who think that when you put the ball in the hole, you should be bestowed the player of the year. She’s the full package. Every single day.”

Boston’s parents and aunt as well as the entire South Carolina team were in the audience of the ceremony that also honored AP Coach of the Year Kim Mulkey.

“Coming into this year I said in the back of my mind I wanted to change the narrative this year about women’s basketball,” Boston said. “To get this award means a lot and I can’t wait to do more in the future.”

Boston received 23 votes from the 30-member national media panel that votes weekly for the AP Top 25. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark received six votes and Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith got one.

Boston averaged 16.8 points, 12 rebounds and 2.6 blocks this year.

“I think Aliyah is so unselfish that she’s not very comfortable taking over basketball games,” Staley said. “She doesn’t want to be seen by her teammates as selfish and chasing numbers.”

Boston’s parents surprised the unanimous first-team AP All-American with the news on Zoom that she had won the award.

“I’m in shock, I got the chills,” Boston said to her parents on the call.

Staley said that Boston is one of the hardest workers on the team.

“Young people will follow anyone, good or bad,” the coach said. “Aliyah has tbe personality where you’d follow her because of how hard she works, how unselfish she is, how giving she is. When it’s time to make plays she delivers. She’s a leader to follow for all the right reasons.”

___

More AP coverage of March Madness: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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