UConn women lose out on another recruit as Boston chooses SC
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — Before playing a game, the UConn women suffered their first loss in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Aliyah Boston, a consensus top-five recruit in the Class of 2019 who had been hotly pursued by the Huskies, announced her commitment to South Carolina. Boston revealed the decision on Wednesday after playing in an exhibition game at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School in St. Thomas, close to where she grew up.
“I wanted to go pro. I just have a lot of goals,” Boston said, explaining her reasoning for choosing the Gamecocks. “I just felt like that is where it was at.”
Boston, a 6-foot-4 forward from Worcester Academy (Mass.), stressed over her decision for weeks, saying it took her until Monday to decide. Along with UConn, she had also considered Notre Dame and Ohio State.
“I’m really glad that UConn took the time to recruit me,” Boston said, adding that she had a “great” official visit to Storrs earlier this month. “There was nothing bad to say about it.”
Coincidentally, the Huskies — off to a 2-0 start and ranked second in the AP poll — also happen to be in St. Thomas this week. They will play three games in three days at the Paradise Jam, starting Thursday against Ole Miss (7:30 ET) at the Sports and Fitness Center.
“(UConn head coach Geno Auriemma) wished me good luck and I wished him good luck,” Boston said. “It was kind of just like that.”
Boston, the two-time Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year, represents the second big recruiting loss in the last few months for the Huskies. In October, Columbus Africentric (Ohio) guard Jordan Horston chose Tennessee over the Huskies and several other schools.
Now, with her decision made — Boston also signed her Letter of Intent on Wednesday — Boston can set her sights squarely on having another big year at Worcester Academy. As a junior, she averaged 21.2 points, 14.0 rebounds and 6.2 blocks per game, leading her school to a New England Prep School championship.
“She is the real deal,” her high school coach, Sherry Levin, said prior to the announcement by phone. “In addition to having great height, she has great basketball IQ. Her athletic ability is top notch. She has great hands — she catches everything thrown at her. Her timing on blocks is amazing. … At our level, it takes two to three people to defend her.”
With Boston out the picture, the Huskies’ Class of 2019 remains at one. Ossining High (N.Y.) guard Aubrey Griffin, the No. 33 player as ranked by ESPN, signed her Letter of Intent on Tuesday.
UConn’s top target, Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) guard Haley Jones, the top player in 2019, will announce her college choice on Nov. 28