April 1, 2023 

South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston declares for the 2023 WNBA Draft

'I am excited to see where our dreams take us'

At 11:10 on Friday in Dallas night, South Carolina star Aliyah Boston told reporters after a disappointing loss to her senior season, she was still deciding whether she would declare for the 2023 WNBA Draft. And less than 15 hours later, at 2:02 Dallas time, Boston announced on her Instagram she was leaving Columbia and ready for the next step.

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“There is a quote that says — Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away,” the post reads. “In this moment, I am truly breathless as I make the next best decision of my life. I have decided to further pursue my dream by declaring for the 2023 WNBA Draft.”

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Throughout the season, Boston consistently told media she had not decided.

Boston’s response after their Elite Eight win on Monday in Greenville.

“Haven’t decided yet,” she told reporters after Friday’s loss. “This decision is a big decision. I was going to have to really write down the pros and cons of everything. Whether we won or not, it would still have to be something that I would have to consider.”

And after a college career littered with accolades and a championship, she’s the unanimous No. 1 draft pick, but with the NCAA’s addition of a “COVID year” and name, image, likeness (NIL) money flowing into the college game, many others in her class have decided to take a grad year at their college programs.

But it seemed clear that Coach Dawn Staley felt it was ready for Boston to take on the next chapter, telling reporters this week she was planning on not having the seniors next year.

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“I’m going to tell her to go. There are defenses that are played against her that won’t allow her to play her game. And then it’s hard to officiate that,” Staley told media Friday night. “She’s ready. She’s ready to see single coverage. She’s ready to make the next step to the league.”

Boston will be remembered as a revolutionary player in Staley’s system and alongside a class, dubbed “The Freshies,” which brought the Gamecocks to consistent dominance and success.

Boston will likely head to the Indiana Fever, who has the No. 1 pick, and join a young squad. Many predict Boston will be a franchise-changer for the young Fever.

Written by Gabriella Lewis

Gabriella is The Next's Atlanta Dream and SEC beat reporter. She is a Bay Area native currently studying at Emory University.

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