Boston turns into No. 1 for fever; Lynx takes Miller 2nd place

Alexa Philippou ESPN7:11 PM ET3 Minute Learn

NEW YORK — The Indiana Fever voted former South Carolina star and 2022 Naismith Participant of the 12 months Aliyah Boston as their #1 general choose within the 2023 WNBA draft Monday evening at Spring Studios in New York Metropolis.

Boston — a 6-foot-5 ahead who grew up in St. Thomas within the U.S. Virgin Islands earlier than shifting to Massachusetts as a young person to pursue her basketball dream — grew to become South Carolina’s second prime general and joined to 2. Time League MVP A’ja Wilson in 2018.

“It’s actually particular, I thank God for placing me on this place,” Boston stated. “Everybody in Indiana noticed one thing in me, I’m able to get there and get to work.”

Diamond Miller of Maryland was picked second by the Minnesota Lynx, whereas Maddy Siegrist grew to become Villanova’s highest-ever WNBA draft choose at quantity 3 and went to the Dallas Wings.

The Washington Mystics picked fourth, including Iowa State’s Stephanie Soares, which they then traded to the Wings for future first- and second-round picks. Dallas then used the fifth choose in opposition to UConn’s Lou Lopez Senechal.

Stanford’s Haley Jones was drafted sixth by the Atlanta Dream.

The Fever selected Boston with the franchise’s first-ever #1, a second of celebration for a corporation that has languished since legend Tamika Catchings retired in 2016.

Indiana has missed the postseason yearly since — the longest lively playoff drought within the league — ending a 5-31 season in 2022. The Fever employed Christie Sides as their new head coach this offseason and eliminated the interim tag for normal supervisor Lin Dunn.

Boston, thought-about a possible franchise participant on the best way, was a pivotal participant at Columbia for 4 years, the place she led the Gamecocks to 3 consecutive Ultimate Fours and the 2022 nationwide title. Throughout that event, she was named the Most Excellent Participant of the Ultimate 4 whereas incomes three first-team All-American alternatives, two SEC Participant of the 12 months Awards and 4 Lisa Leslie Heart of the 12 months Awards throughout her profitable profession .

The Fever used Aliyah Boston, described by Gamecocks coach Daybreak Staley as a “cornerstone” of South Carolina’s girls’s basketball program, because the franchise’s first-ever No. 1 choose. Adam Starvation/AP

“She’s beautiful. She’s prepared,” South Carolina coach Daybreak Staley stated of Boston on the 2023 Ultimate 4. “She’s been the cornerstone of our program for the final 4 years. She exalted us. She has raised the usual for the strategy to basketball. She’s by no means had a nasty day. She by no means got here into the workplace sulking. She’s at all times precisely the individual she noticed so very, very persistently.

“I slept very properly realizing she was on our program and I’ll sleep properly realizing she’s okay and positively making a reputation for herself on the subsequent degree.”

“I believe Aliyah Boston is a professional first-choice choice,” Dunn stated the week earlier than the draft. “I’ve been watching them very carefully this 12 months. Her peak, her basketball IQ, her character, her management expertise. She simply brings an incredible quantity to the desk…she’s going to have an instantaneous impression on this league and I’m simply grateful – I believe all of us are – that she selected to return into the draft and her fifth COVID 12 months has not used.

Boston joins a younger group in Indianapolis by which 2022 Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith and Boston’s former South Carolina teammate Destanni Henderson are No. 2 general.