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Caitlin Clark tops Aliyah Boston for AP Player of the Year

(Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Caitlin Clark is the Associated Press National Player of the Year. The Iowa star, who has propelled her team to the Final Four, received 20 out of a possible 28 votes.

Voting was conducted prior to the start of March Madness, with South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston receiving the other eight votes. Boston won the award last year.

“There’s so many great players, more than just me and (Aliyah),” Clark told the AP. “You can go on and on and list the tremendous players. I think that’s really good for our game when there’s a lot of great players. That’s what is going to help this game grow more than anything else.”

Clark averaged 27.0 points, 8.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds this season en route to the Final Four, where she and the Hawkeyes will face Boston and the Gamecocks at 9 p.m. ET Friday. Her 984 total points are the sixth-most in a season by any player in D-I history, and she’s the only player to have scored more than 900 points and 300 assists in a single season.

“It’s a huge honor,” Clark said. “I picked a place that I perfectly fit into and that’s allowed me to show my skill set. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t mean something. It’s not the reason you play basketball, it’s just something that comes along with getting to do what you love.

“I’m there for inspiring the next generation and being there for the people that you know are going through a hard time. Being able to give joy to people that watch you play and watch your team play is amazing.”

Clark was surprised with the award by the Iowa coaching staff at the Iowa Children’s Hospital. A video with some of the children at the hospital congratulating Clark on her season was accompanied by a video of head coach Lisa Bluder, who informed Clark she had won.

“She is spectacular,” Bluder said. “I don’t know how else to describe what she does on the basketball court.”

Clark also was named the winner of the Naismith National Player of the Year award on Wednesday.