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Aliyah Boston wins Honda Cup as top female college athlete

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 06 SEC Women's Tournament - South Carolina Gamecocks v Kentucky Wildcats

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 06: South Carolina Gamecocks forward Aliyah Boston (4) grabs a rebound during the championship game of the SEC Womens Basketball Tournament between the South Carolina Gamecocks and Kentucky Wildcats, March 6, 2022, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

LOS ANGELES - South Carolina basketball star Aliyah Boston was named the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year on Monday night.

She received the Honda Cup in a ceremony at Galen Center on the University of Southern California campus. Boston’s coach, Dawn Staley, won the award in 1991 as a basketball player at Virginia.

The junior forward is the first basketball player to win the award since Breanna Stewart in 2016. Overall, 16 basketball players have won the Honda Cup - the most of any sport.

“It means a lot. A lot of these women are my role models,” Boston said. “Coach Staley was a past winner. Candace Parker was my role model since I was nine years old.”

Boston helped South Carolina to its second national championship this past spring and was the AP women’s basketball Player of the Year.

The other finalists for the award were Oklahoma softball senior Jocelyn Alo and Florida gymnast Trinity Thomas.

“All these women on the stage help each sport they play,” Boston said.

The top three were selected by voting of nearly 1,000 NCAA member schools, and the winner was chosen by the Board of Directors of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program.

“The Honda Class of 2022 is truly an extraordinary group of women who have achieved notable accomplishments in their sports and in the classrooms across the nation,” said Chris Voelz, executive director of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards. “We are thrilled to have them join our elite family of the `best of the best.’

“To Aliyah Boston, this year’s Honda Cup winner, we commend and congratulate you on your remarkable achievements which led to your selection as the Cup winner and welcome you to this rare sisterhood, being named the very best female collegiate athlete in the nation.”