Boston Repeats as Lisa Leslie Award Winner
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - For the second time in as many seasons, South Carolina women’s basketball sophomore Aliyah Boston earned a spot on the Naismith Starting Five as the winner of the Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award, the Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today. Already the second Gamecock to claim the award, Boston becomes its first repeat winner.
“I thank God for allowing me to win this award again and for blessing me with amazing teammates and coaches who continue to push me every day to be the player that I am,” Boston said. “This award means so much to me because Lisa Leslie was such a beast on the court, and to know that she thinks so highly of my game is a blessing.”
Boston’s sophomore season was as impressive as her first, which garnered her National Freshman of the Year honors. In her second season, she became a unanimous first-team All-American and repeated as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. She was a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award and was the only finalist to also be named a finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.
A player who impacts the game on both ends of the floor just by being on the floor, Boston guided the Gamecocks to their third NCAA Final Four in the last six NCAA Tournaments. Her dominance at the SEC Tournament delivered the Gamecocks’ second-straight title at that event and yielded Tournament MVP honors as she posted 19.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game while shooting 59.4 percent from the field.
On the season, Boston averaged a double-double (13.7 ppg/11.5 rpg) overall, in SEC play (13.3 ppg/12.3 rpg) and against ranked opponents (14.4 ppg/12.1 rpg). She ranks fifth in the nation in double-doubles (17) and is among the nation’s top 20 in rebounds per game (12th) and offensive rebounds per game (18th, 4.1), grabbing double-digit rebounds in 23 of her 31 games this season.
Ranked 18th in the country with 2.6 blocks per game, Boston is already fifth in program history in career blocked shots (167) as both of her season totals rank among the top six in program single-season history. She became the first Gamecock to post multiple triple-doubles in her career when she recorded 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks against then-No. 22/23 Georgia (Jan. 21). It was the program’s first triple-double against a ranked opponent and against an SEC opponent.
Continue to check GamecocksOnline.com and the team’s social media accounts (@GamecockWBB) for the most up-to-date information on the program.
2021 Women’s Naismith Starting Five Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year Award: Paige Bueckers, UConn
Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year Award: Ashley Owusu, Maryland
Cheryl Miller Small Forward of the Year Award: Ashley Joens, Iowa State
Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year: NaLyssa Smith, Baylor
Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award: Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
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