top of page

Fever select Aliyah Boston first overall in WNBA draft

Aliyah Boston all but knew where her pro career would start even before the Indiana Fever made her the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 WNBA Draft.

Recent discussions had gone well and left quite an impression on Boston, who said the Fever “made me feel at home ever before this was a real reality.”

The partnership became official on Monday night in New York, when the South Carolina forward was selected by the Fever to kick off the three-round, 36-player draft.

Boston was one of three Gamecocks to be selected in the first round and five tabbed overall.

Boston, a three-time All-American, will be expected to provide an immediate lift to an Indiana team that went 5-31 last season to miss the playoffs for the sixth straight season. This was the first time the Fever held the No. 1 overall draft pick.

“Just knowing me, I would say winning every single game, and I still think that can happen,” Boston said of her expectations. “I think we’re going to have a great team that’s going to compete. We’re going to continue to play for each other.

“So just getting a lot of wins, I think that’s the most important part, but also growing as players.”

The 6-foot-5 Boston was the consensus National Player of the Year for the 2021-22 season. She was also the national Defensive Player of the Year in each of the past two seasons.

Boston averaged 14.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots in 138 career games for the Gamecocks. She helped South Carolina win the national championship in 2021-22.

Boston is the second South Carolina player to be the No. 1 overall pick. The first was Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson in 2018.

The Fever later picked Indiana guard Grace Berger with the seventh overall selection. She is the first Hoosiers player to be picked in the first round.

The Minnesota Lynx had the second overall pick and tabbed Maryland guard Diamond Miller.

Miller joins Marissa Coleman (2009, Washington Mystics) as the only Terrapins to be selected No. 2 overall. She averaged 19.7 points this season.

“I’m just never satisfied,” Miller said. “Even now, I know I have so much more to develop. The player you see right now or the last game I played, I’m not going to be in another two years.”

The Dallas Wings ended up nabbing the next three players, selecting third and fifth and trading a 2025 first-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick to the Washington Mystics to acquire Stephanie Soares, who was selected fourth.

Villanova forward Maddy Siegrist went third to the Wings. She led the nation with a 29.2 scoring average, and her 1,081 points is the second most in a single season in Division I women’s basketball history behind former Washington star Kelsey Plum (1,109 in 2016-17).

Siegrist is Villanova’s all-time leading scorer — male or female — with 2,896 career points.

“Probably like halfway through my college career is when I realized like, ‘Maybe you could play in the WNBA,'” Siegrist said. “It probably wasn’t until this year where I was like, ‘Oh, you might get picked pretty high.’ I don’t know, I just never looked that far ahead until recently.”

The Mystics chose Soares, the 6-foot-6 forward/center from Iowa State, prior to the trade. Soares averaged 14.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots in 13 games this season before tearing the ACL in her left knee in January.

The trade stunned Soares. One minute she was thinking about wearing a Mystics uniform, the next she was shifting her focus to the Wings.

“Someone just tapped me, like, ‘You got traded.’ I was like, what?” Soares said. “That happened so fast. Yeah, I think I’m just ready to get to Dallas now and start getting to work.”

The Wings followed up the acquisition by selecting UConn guard/forward Lou Lopez Senechal at No. 5. She spent four seasons at Fairfield before playing this season for the Huskies.

Stanford guard Haley Jones went sixth overall to the Atlanta Dream. After the Fever picked Berger, the Dream were on the board again and selected South Carolina forward Laeticia Amihere.

The Seattle Storm chose Tennessee guard Jordan Horston with the ninth pick. The Sparks followed by picking guard Zia Cooke, the third South Carolina player to go in the first 10 picks.

The Wings nabbed a fourth player in the first round at No. 11 by selecting Maryland guard Abby Meyers. The Lynx completed the round by selecting Frenchwoman Maia Hirsch, a forward/center.

Indiana began the second round by selecting 3-point bomber Taylor Mikesell of Ohio State. She was third nationally with 116 treys this season behind Iowa’s Caitlin Clark (140) and Virginia Tech’s Georgia Amoore (118).

Dallas continued its haul at No. 19 overall by choosing Big 12 Player of the Year Ashley Joens, a guard/forward from Iowa State. At No. 22, the Connecticut Sun selected guard Alexis Morris, one of the key players on LSU’s national championship team.

The Lynx closed the second round by tabbing guard Brea Beal, the fourth South Carolina player chosen.

Indiana chose forward Victaria Saxton — the fifth Gamecock drafted — to begin the third round. According to ESPN, it was the fourth time a single program had five or more players taken in a single draft.

The final pick was Alabama guard Brittany Davis by the defending champion Las Vegas Aces.

–Field Level Media


draft kings.jpg
bottom of page