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Aliyah Boston named Naismith Player of the Year, Staley wins Coach of the Year

Both Aliyah Boston and Dawn Staley picked up multiple major awards Wednesday.

COLUMBIA, S.C. β€” South Carolina's Aliyah Boston and Dawn Staley are the Naismith Player and Coach of the Year, respectively, the latest major awards for the pair as they seek a national title.

The Naismith Awards were given out Wednesday afternoon in Minneapolis, the site of the NCAA Women's Final Four. Boston was named Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, while Staley earned another Coach of the Year Award. 

It's only the second time a Gamecock player has won the award, with the first being A'ja Wilson in 2018. Wilson was a senior at the time, while Boston is a junior. 

For Staley, this is her second Naismith coaching award, to go along with the one she picked up for the 2019-2020 season. She also was a back to back Naismith winner as a player in 1991 and 1992.  Earlier in the day, she was named National Coach of the Year by the US Basketball Writers Association.

RELATED: South Carolina's Dawn Staley gets another major coaching award

Boston has been dominant on both ends of the floor to help lead South Carolina as the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The junior post averaged 16.8 points, 12.0 rebounds and set an SEC record for consecutive games with a double-double. She is the top scorer and rebounder on the team and ranks among the NCAA's top 10 in double-doubles (2nd, 25), rebounds per game (7th) and blocks per game (10th, 2.65 bpg).

RELATED: USC headed to Final Four after win over Creighton

The Gamecocks (33-2) are in their fourth Final Four in program history, all of which have happened in the last seven years under Staley, and their second consecutive appearance. The Gamecocks are seeking their second national title to go along with the one they secured back in 2017. 

The Gamecocks also made their eighth straight Sweet 16 during this same tournament. 

 

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