On Wednesday, South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston won the 2022 Naismith Defensive Player and Player of the Year awards.
Boston is the first player to win both the Defensive and Player of the Year awards.
Boston averaged a career-high 16.8 points per game this season and shot 54% from the field. She averaged 12.2 rebounds per game, with 45 steals and 87 blocks for the Gamecocks.
“First, I just want to say ‘congrats’ to all this year’s Naismith Awards finalists,” Boston said after accepting the Naismith Defensive Player and Player of the Year awards. “I think we all made it very hard on the voting academy and fans because everyone had such a great season. I want to thank God. I want to thank my teammates for getting me here to this opportunity, and Coach Staley and the coaches for developing me into the player I am.”
For the Defensive Player of the Year award, Boston was chosen over fellow finalists Cameron Brink (Stanford), Veronica Burton (Northwestern), and Lorela Cubaj (Georgia Tech.)
Meanwhile, Boston was the choice for player of the year, beating out Caitlin Clark (Iowa), Haley Jones (Stanford), and NaLyssa Smith (Baylor).
Boston helped South Carolina hold on to the No. 1 ranking throughout the collegiate season into the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Boston is averaging 16.7 points and more than 14 rebounds per game in four NCAA Tournament games. On Sunday, Boston helped lead South Carolina to an 80-50 win over Creighton in the Elite Eight, finishing 7-of-9 from the field for 19 points seven rebounds.
No. 1 South Carolina will take on No. 1 Louisville in the NCAA Women’s Final Four on Friday.