2023 WNBA Draft: Indiana Fever Select Aliyah Boston With The First Overall Pick
NEW YORK, New York – 2022 NCAA champion Aliyah Boston became the second South Carolina Gamecock Women's Basketball player to go first overall at the WNBA Draft.
Boston was selected first overall by the Indiana Fever at the 2023 WNBA Draft held at Spring Studio in New York City. The 6-foot-5 forward hails from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, before competing for Dawn Staley and South Carolina.
Boston was a four-time All-American recipient, four-time Lisa Leslie Center of the Year, four-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year, two-time National Player of the Year, two-time Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, and the 2022 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, just to name a few accolades.
She can now add the first overall draft pick to her resume.
"I mean, it's just really special," Boston told the media moments after hearing her name on the Draft floor. "I'm thankful, first, to God just for putting me in this position but also thankful to everybody in Indiana, just because they saw something in me, and I'm just ready to get there and get to work."
Many experts believed she would be the first choice whenever Boston decided to declare for the WNBA Draft. During her senior year, Boston shot at 55.9 percent from the floor. Defensively she averaged 2.0 blocks per game. However, given the disruption to the NCAA season as the world grappled with the Coronavirus pandemic, Boston was entitled to an additional year of eligibility. She opted not to use it.
"It took a lot of thought because if I could go back to South Carolina again, I absolutely would because it was so much fun. But I just knew I had to do what was best for me, and I definitely think just coming to the league, and I say that just because I've always wanted to do this. I've always wanted to be a professional basketball player and I just felt like this moment was right. Usually if I feel any doubt, if I feel any second-guessing, I can say I'm just not going to do it. But I was just very confident in myself, so I didn't want to make a different decision because I'm going to trust my gut."
As predicted, Boston went first overall to a struggling Indiana Fever franchise. However, the legendary Lin Dunn is back as general manager, and Christie Sides is the new head coach. Boston felt her pre-Draft talks with Dunn went well.
"We talked quite a few times," Boston said Monday night. "She was super excited to get to know me. She was very welcoming, and I got to talk to the entire staff, and it just almost made me feel at home even before this was a real reality. So, I'm just really thankful to everybody there."
Boston was joined by Indiana guard Grace Berger (1st round, 7th pick), Ohio State guard Taylor Mikesell (2nd round, first pick), LSU post player LaDazhia Williams (2nd round, 5th pick), and South Carolina forward Victaria Saxton (3rd round first pick),
The Indiana Fever open the season on May 19, when they host the Connecticut Sun. The Sun drafted LSU guard and 2023 NCAA National Champion Alexis Morris.