Aliyah Boston’s advice to young athletes: ‘Aim to be better than me’

Aliyah Boston was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament after leading South Carolina to the title. (Bri Lewerke/Just Women's Sports)

South Carolina basketball standout Aliyah Boston continued to add to her résumé Monday, winning the Honda Cup and being named the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

She was named winner over finalists Jocelyn Alo (softball, Oklahoma) and Trinity Thomas (gymnastics, Florida). While the top three were selected by voting from NCAA member schools, the winner was chosen by the Collegiate Women Sports Award program board of directors.

Boston is the 17th basketball player to win the Cup. Her coach, Dawn Staley, also won the award while at Virginia in 1991. The most recent basketball player to win the Honda Cup before Boston was Breanna Stewart in 2016.

After Stewart, Stanford swimmers Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel won the award in back-to-back years. Then UCLA softball player Rachel Garcia won in 2019 and 2021; the Honda Cup was not awarded in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her speech, Boston – who also won the 2022 John R. Wooden Women’s Award and the national title with the Gamecocks – sounded off on what should inspire the next generation of players.

“Try and aim to be better than me,” she said. “And I say that because, when I committed to South Carolina, everybody asked me if I wanted to be the next A’ja Wilson, and my response was always, ‘I want to be the next Aliyah Boston.’ So setting personal goals and high achievements for yourself and not trying to be like anyone else is the best advice I can give anyone.”