After having another standout season with the Gamecocks, senior forward Aliyah Boston was able to take some time away from the court and head home to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
While at home, Boston’s days consisted of morning runs on the beach, relaxing during the day and shooting at night. Throughout the day, she enjoyed spending time with her family.
“Family is really important,” Boston said. “To be able to always come back and see them is just super important because that is where I started.”
Alongside working out and spending time with family, Boston had the opportunity to bring the first-ever women’s basketball camp to St. Thomas. She used her name, image and likeness (NIL) partnership with Under Armour to sponsor the camp. Through the camp, Boston inspired young girls and connected with her community.
Boston came home from the 2021-2022 season with 30 double-doubles — an SEC record — a laundry list of best athlete awards and a national championship.
“She continues to come through,” head coach Dawn Staley said. “She approaches the game the correct way, she produces, and we win.”
During her short time at home, there was also a parade ceremony hosted in the streets of St. Thomas, honoring Boston for her achievements. After the parade, Gov. Albert Bryan presented Boston with a plaque that declared June 4 as “Aliyah Boston Day.”
With a summer filled with honors, relaxation and family time, Boston returned to USC earlier than most students in order to prepare for the upcoming season. Boston and the team arrived on campus on June 20, where they began team workouts and classes.
Following the team's 2022 championship win, former interim President Harris Pastides commended the team for their positive impact.
“Every member of the team and all the coaches, have done more to advance the status of women in athletics and in our nation than anyone has ever done before,” Pastides said.
The Gamecocks look to have another successful season with 10 returning players and three new faces. The recruiting class is ranked sixth in the nation and includes graduate guard Kierra Fletcher and two freshmen, guard Talaysia Cooper and forward Ashlyn Watkins.
“They’ve have been working really hard,” Boston said about the newcomers. “They make basketball fun and that’s what it’s all about.”
After winning it all this year, Boston and the team have big expectations going into this upcoming season. Individually, Boston looks to improve her outside game and rebounding, as both are keys to the South Carolina style of play.
As a team, their goal is to defend the national title. With the combination of the returners experience and the new talent on the roster, the team is hopeful for another amazing season.
"Our goal is to run it back always," Boston said. "It's been a great summer so far, and I can't wait for the remaining weeks."