Boston heads to Fever as No. 1 pick in WNBA draft
NEW YORK — Aliyah Boston was the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft on Monday night, going to the Indiana Fever.
It’s the first time that the Fever have had the top choice in the draft, and they chose the South Carolina star. Boston, a three-time Associated Press All-American who also was the Player of the Year as a junior, will solidify the post for Indiana.
“It’s really special, I’m thankful to God for putting me in this position,” said the 21-year-old Boston, from the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Everyone in Indiana, they saw something in me, I’m ready to get there and get to work.”
The Fever had the worst record in the league last season, going 5-31.
“Aliyah Boston will have an immediate impact on our franchise on and off the court,” Fever GM Lin Dunn said. ‘We are excited to pair her with Kelsey (Mitchell) and NaLyssa (Smith) as we reload the Indiana Fever. We are very impressed with Aliyah’s post skills as well as her natural leadership skills. This a a great day for our franchise!”
Boston, like many other players, have had to choose whether to return to college for a fifth season because of the extra year granted for the COVID-19 virus or turn pro. She decided to enter the draft, joining 111 other players to declare.
She was joined by three South Carolina teammates, who were expected to be taken in the first two rounds of the draft. The Gamecocks were unbeaten, until losing to Iowa in the Final Four.
Minnesota took Diamond Miller of Maryland with the No. 2 pick, and Dallas drafted Maddy Siegrist of Villanova with the third pick. Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman, who was the WNBA’s first president, sat with Siegrist.
The Wings also drafted UConn guard Lou Lopez Senechal two picks later. She had transferred to UConn after a stellar career at Fairfield.
“It feels surreal, really didn’t think I’d be here,” Senechal said. “I’ve come a long way, gone through a lot of challenges.”
Stephanie Soares of Iowa State went fourth to Washington. The Mystics quickly traded her to Dallas soon after selecting the 6-foot-7 center. Washington got back a future first- and second-round pick.
“It was a very interesting feeling,” Soares said. “Pure excitement going to Washington, but now getting to go to Dallas. It’s going to be a great next step to the journey.”
Soares tore her ACL in January and will miss the upcoming WNBA season.
Stanford guard Haley Jones went sixth, and South Carolina’s Laeticia Amihere eighth to Atlanta. Indiana’s Grace Berger was drafted in between them by the Fever.
Seattle took Tennessee’s Jordan Horston ninth.
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