Aliyah Boston gets real on rookie season, WNBA All-Star selection

When the 2023 WNBA season tipped-off, one of the most anticipated storylines was the debut of Aliyah Boston. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft by the Indiana Fever, Boston was one of the most highly touted rookies in recent history. A star at South Carolina under Dawn Staley, and arguably the best college player in the country her senior season, fans and pundits alike couldn’t wait to see how her game translated to the professional level. And to nobody’s surprise, she’s gotten acclimated rather quickly. Boston was named to the WNBA All-Star team, the first time since Tamika Catchings in 2002 that a rookie was bestowed that honor.

Aliyah Boston reflects on being an All-Star and what she’s learned about the WNBA as a rookie.

— David Mendez-Yapkowitz (@Dave_Yapkowitz) July 15, 2023

While the Fever have struggled this season, they have a 5-15 record at the midway point, there have been some encouraging signs considering that most of their losses have been very close. At the center of that is Aliyah Boston who is proving she is capable of being a franchise centerpiece. Upon being selected to the WNBA All-Star team, Boston was initially unsure of what to expect. But now that she’s been able to see what WNBA All-Star weekend is all about, she credits her veteran All-Star teammates for contributing to her getting acclimated to the league.

“I’ve kind of just been enjoying everything that comes with it. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, what it was going to be like. Being a rookie and being an All-Star, it can feel intimidating because you have all these vets around you and you’re kind of in this new space,” Boston said during an All-Star media availability. “Everyone just has been really welcoming which I’ve really enjoyed.”

Through the first half of the season, Aliyah Boston has started every game for the Fever and is playing around 31 minutes per game. She’s been averaging 15.4 points per game, 8.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.3 blocked shots. She’s shooting 61 percent from the field, 66.7 percent from the three-point line and 81.6 percent from the free-throw line.

Boston’s three-point percentage might be a little skewed considering she does not take three-point attempts. Up until the final game of the All-Star break, she had only taken two three-point shots and made one of them. She hit her second one of the season to force overtime against the New York Liberty in a thriller right before the break. But what it does show is that she has the ability to shoot from three-point range and can eventually incorporate that as a regular part of her game.

But one of the other key things Boston has had to adjust to is the struggles the Fever have faced. Through her four years at South Carolina, the Gamecocks only lost a total of nine regular season games. The Fever have already lost 15 this season. Battling through that adversity is one of the main things Boston has had to learn as a rookie.

“I’ll definitely say the physicality of it, just battling up against post players every night. It’s definitely harder than it was in college. That’s definitely the thing I’ve learned about the league,” Boston said. “Something I’ve learned about myself is I can push through the wall a little bit. Sometimes I feel like when adversity comes, especially being in a new situation and being a rookie in the league, it can be hard. You might think, oh I can’t get through this or I can’t do that. But you just continue to push through and so I’ve learned that I have a little bit extra more to give.”

While Boston has not yet taken the time to soak in her phenomenal rookie season so far, mostly in part to the quick turnaround from college to the WNBA, this is something she’s always dreamed about and she’s thrilled to be living it.

“Sometimes I’ll get little spurts and I’m like, wow this is reality, this is my life, this is pretty cool,” Boston said. “Since the Final Four and getting drafted I just feel like everything has moved so quickly in that we’ve always been on the go since the start of training camp. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. This is something I’ve dreamt of for quite some time. To be able to be living it, is just amazing.”

The post Aliyah Boston gets real on rookie season, WNBA All-Star selection appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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