Final Four dispatch: Staley, Boston garner top national honors

Photo by Charles Hallman South Carolina HC Dawn Staley standing next to 2022 Naismith Coach of the Year trophy.

South Carolina Coach Dawn Staley and Gamecocks junior center Aliyah Boston swept this year’s Naismith Awards.

Staley won Women’s College Coach of the Year, and Boston won both Player of the Year and Women’s Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday.

Afterward, the MSR briefly spoke to both Staley and Boston separately after the respective media scrum at Loews Minneapolis Hotel.

Coach Staley stressed, “Anytime you get a coach of the year award, it has everything to do with [the team].  Everybody is happy for each other.”

On Boston’s double honors, “Aliyah’s teammates know how much she means to this team. This is something Aliyah wanted to win in front of everybody.  I think our players collectively have helped her to hoist two trophies.”

When asked what small thing NBA Legend Tim Duncan taught her during a week spent working with him on her game during the offseason, Boston told us, “He just told me to be able to read defenses a lot better.

“I am excited to receive this award and be able to share it with my team, my family and the coaches,” Boston said.  “It’s amazing and I thank God for it.”

Charles Hallman will be providing a nightly recap of the day’s events during the Final Four in Minneapolis.

Related Story: Final Four dispatch: Staley and Boston continue to rack up awards