Ranked as the No. 3 player in her class nationally, Aliyah Boston carried some high expectations as she began her freshman season at the University of South Carolina.
But the St. Thomas native has been living up to the high standard, as she was named player of the week in the Southeastern Conference for her performances in the Gamecocks’ first two victories of the season, averaging 13 points, 9.5 rebounds and an NCAA-leading 7.5 blocks per game.
In her first game she became just the seventh player – and first freshman – in South Carolina history to record a triple-double, in the team’s 103-43 victory over Alabama State, posting a stat line that featured 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks.
The 10 blocks tied the school record in a game. As a freshman, she still has four years to break the record.
After the game Boston acknowledged it was a good performance but said there is still room for growth.
“I think we did great, I just think there’s room for improvement on that, and then just continuing to communicate with each other on the offensive end, as well as the defensive end,” she said.
The Gamecocks then traveled to No. 4 Maryland, where they pulled off a 63-54 upset and Boston was her team’s leading scorer with 14 points while hauling in seven rebounds and swatting away five shots.
After the game USC head coach Dawn Stanley said of Boston, “She’s blossoming,” and “I didn’t realize she was that much of a shot-blocker. … She has a knack to it.”
The upset moved South Carolina up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 poll for NCAA women’s basketball.
Boston and the Gamecocks will take part in this year’s Paradise Jam basketball tournament. They will play No. 21 Indiana on Thanksgiving Day, Washington State the next day and conclude play in a grand finale matchup against defending national champs and current No. 1 Oregon, with all of those games starting at 9 p.m.
Boston was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but at the age of 12 moved with her sister to live with her aunt in Worcester, Massachusetts. As a junior she helped the Worcester Academy women’s squad finish 23-1, ranked fifth nationally in division two of the National Athletic Association of Private schools, and won the NEPSAC Class AA Division Championship. Last summer she was part of a U.S. women’s team that took gold at the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Belarus.