Former South Carolina star Aliyah Boston set to make WNBA debut. How you can watch
Two months after getting drafted No. 1 overall, former South Carolina women’s basketball star Aliyah Boston is positioned to make her WNBA debut Friday.
And there’s an easy way for Gamecocks fans to follow along with the most decorated player in program history — but it’ll cost you a few bucks.
Boston and the Indiana Fever open the season at home against the Connecticut Sun at 7 p.m. Friday at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The game isn’t being broadcast on national television – only locally – but remains available to watch live through the WNBA’s online League Pass platform.
WNBA League Pass provides access to “all live out-of-market games (excluding national and local blackouts), every game on-demand, and every archived game since the 2015 season” for $24.99 annually, according to its website.
Fans can also buy a “single-game pass,” which allows them to stream a game of their choice on the platform any time for $2.99.
Boston, the second No. 1 overall draft pick in South Carolina history following forward A’ja Wilson in 2018, has impressed in limited action and drawn plenty of buzz this preseason.
The record-breaking Boston, who made four All-American teams and three Final Fours while winning a 2022 national championship, averaged 8.0 points and 1.5 rebounds across two preseason games while playing 16.7 minutes per game and shooting 72.7% from the field.
After Boston scored eight points in her preseason debut against the Chicago Sky on May 7, Fever head coach Christie Sides described the 6-foot-5 forward-center as “just an incredible piece for us.”
“I mean, both as a player and as a person,” Sides said, per USA TODAY Sports. “She’s come in every day. She works hard every day. She looks to get better. She talks to her teammates. She talks to the vets a lot about, ‘What can I do? How can I get better? How can I do this better for Coach?’ ”
Boston left South Carolina holding career records for, among other accolades, consecutive games started (138), rebounds (1,493) and double-doubles (82). She was a four-time Lisa Leslie Center of the Year winner and four-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year winner while going 129-9 and averaging 14.1 points and 10.8 rebounds for her career.
Indiana is hoping Boston provides an immediate boost to a team that was a league-worst 5-31 last season (tied for the most single-season losses by a team in league history) and hasn’t made the playoffs in six years or won a playoff game in seven years.
“It’s a young group, but I think we’re all competitors,” Boston said at her introductory press conference in April. “I think that’s the biggest thing. I don’t think anyone is going to back down from a challenge.”
Boston was one of five South Carolina players selected in the 2023 WNBA Draft. That set a program record and tied 1999 Tennessee, 2008 Tennessee and 2019 Notre Dame for the most ever by a single college program in a single WNBA Draft.
Forward Laeticia Amihere (No. 8 to the Atlanta Dream), guard Zia Cooke (No. 10 to the Los Angeles Spark), guard Brea Beal (second round to the Minnesota Lynx) and forward Victaria Saxton (third round to the Fever) also heard their names called.
The Lynx waived Beal, the No. 24 pick of the draft, this week ahead of their season opener, while Boston, Amihere, Cooke and Saxton all remain on active rosters. The Fever also waived former USC point guard Destanni Henderson, their 2022 second-round pick.
That leaves eight former Gamecocks, all of whom played under decorated coach Dawn Staley, on active WNBA rosters ahead of Friday’s opening games. The others are Tiffany Mitchell (Minnesota), Ty Harris (Connecticut), A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas) and Allisha Gray (Atlanta).
How to watch Gamecocks in the WNBA
WNBA games featuring former South Carolina players for the league’s opening weekend of play. Subscription required to watch via WNBA League Pass
Friday, May 19
Connecticut Sun at Indiana Fever, 7 p.m., League Pass (Fever: F Aliyah Boston**, F Victaria Saxton**; Sun: G Tyasha Harris)
Chicago Sky at Minnesota Lynx, 8 p.m., League Pass (Lynx: G Tiffany Mitchell)
Phoenix Mercury at Los Angeles Sparks, 11 p.m., ESPN (Sparks: G Zia Cooke**)
Saturday, May 20
Atlanta Dream at Dallas Wings, 1 p.m., ABC (Dream: F Laeticia Amihere**, G Allisha Gray)
Las Vegas Aces at Seattle Storm, 3 p.m., ABC (Aces: F A’ja Wilson)
Sunday, May 21
Mystics at Sun, 1 p.m., League Pass (Sun: G Harris)
Fever at New York Liberty, 2 p.m., WNBA Twitter stream (Fever: F Boston, F Saxton)
** Rookie debut