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Aliyah Boston gets high praise in WNBA debut: ‘She’s not a rookie’

The Indiana Fever's Aliyah Boston nearly recorded a double-double in her WNBA debut. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Aliyah Boston took to the court for her first official WNBA game on Friday night, but to Indiana Fever teammate Kelsey Mitchell, it didn’t seem like Boston was making her league debut.

“She’s not a rookie. She (doesn’t) have a rookie mindset,” Mitchell, a five-year WNBA veteran, said of the No. 1 overall draft pick.

“She’s going to compete, she’s going to give you everything she’s got. And whenever she’s not playing, she’s going to give you even more.”

Boston nearly recorded a double-double in the Fever’s 70-61 loss to the Connecticut Sun, scoring 15 points and recording nine rebounds at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. After trailing the Sun by 13 points, the South Carolina alum also helped mount a comeback. The Fever came within three points of the Sun with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

After getting into foul trouble early in the game, Boston eventually fouled out with 45 seconds left.

“Aliyah is a competitor, she wants to win more than anybody in our locker room,” Indiana Fever Christie Sides said. “I told her from the beginning that she’s not going to get any calls. That’s just what happens to rookies.”

As if to illustrate Christie’s point, the person most critical of Boston’s WNBA debut was Boston herself.

“It wasn’t a successful rookie debut just because — no matter what my stats look like — it’s a team sport and we didn’t come out with the W.”

Boston added: “On this stage, I don’t really look at myself as a rookie. … I might be getting some rookie calls, though.”