Aliyah Boston USATSI South Carolina Gamecocks Women's Basketball
USATSI

Aliyah Boston started as a nine year old playing hoops with her older sister on an unleveled driveway in St. Thomas. She took a leap of faith, and now she is building her legacy as a college basketball star in South Carolina.

"About 8th grade, coaches started calling," Boston told CBS Sports as part of the "Against All Odds" video interview series, presented by Under Armour. "If we weren't sure if it was a good decision, well, we know the answer now."

As a kid, Boston wanted to try everything her sister Alexis did, and that's exactly how she found basketball. The sisters quickly realized that they wanted it to be more than just an after school activity, so they made the difficult decision to move to the United States to get more exposure and chase the goal of getting full ride college scholarships. 

Boston said the game was played a lot faster in the U.S. but she welcomed the challenge. Her parents invested a lot for their daughters to chase their dreams, so she knew she needed to take advantage of the opportunity and wanted to work hard to make them proud.

Her work ethic has taken her far. The 6'5" forward was one of the nation's top high school recruits in the class of 2019 and eventually chose to play for the Gamecocks, because she liked Dawn Staley's coaching style. 

"My mom used to say, 'don't think you are good until you make it in the newspapers,'" Boston said. "Once I started make it in the newspapers I was like, ok, maybe I'm good at this."

The Gamecocks lifted the 2022 NCAA Championship trophy after registering a 35-2 overall record and going wire-to-wire ranking No. 1 in the nation. Boston was named the 2022 Naismith Women's Player of the Year, as well as Defensive Player of the Year.

"Without basketball, I probably would not be in the states right now because I don't think there would've been a reason for me to move," Boston said. "If I wasn't in the states, all these great opportunities would not have happened, so I thank God for it everyday."