Aliyah Boston is now a member of the elite three-hour club.
The South Carolina star was honored for the third consecutive year as an All-American by The Associated Press on Wednesday. She is just the 10th player to achieve that honor three times.
Boston was joined on the first team by Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist, LSU’s Angel Reese and Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes. Boston and Clark were unanimous picks from the 28-member national media panel that votes in the AP Top 25 every week.
It is the second season in a row that a player joined the club. Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard did it last season.
South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson, Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw, Duke’s Alana Beard, Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris, Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu and UConn’s Breanna Stewart and Maya Moore are the only other players to earn first-team honors at least three times. Paris and Moore did it four times.
Boston earned second-team All-America honors his freshman year.
“Aliyah has been the best college player for, to me, as many years as she’s been honored as an All-American, but definitely the last two seasons,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “I hope we can really give her her flowers while she’s still a collegiate athlete, because I don’t think there will be another Aliyah Boston ever to grace college women’s basketball.”
Boston helped South Carolina go undefeated in the regular season and enter the NCAA Tournament as the top overall seed. She averaged 13.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks a game. She’s a big reason the Gamecocks went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 seed in the AP poll for the second straight season.
Clark can join the three-hour club next season. The junior again put up eye-popping numbers, averaging 27.0 points, second best in the nation. She also had 8.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game to help Iowa win the Big Ten Tournament title for the second straight year.
“It’s one thing to be a first-team All-American, but another thing to receive it in back-to-back seasons,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “Our program, university and state are so proud of all the things she has accomplished thus far. There is no one more deserving than a generational player like Clark.”
Clark was only behind Siegrist in scoring. The Villanova star averaged 28.9 points this season and set the career Big East scoring record. She has 984 points this season and is looking to become the fifth player ever to score over 1,000 in a season. She has scored 20-plus points in 34 consecutive games, one shy of Kelsey Plum’s 2016-17 record.
“Maddy is an All-American in every sense of the word and she is truly deserving of this honor,” Villanova coach Denise Dillon said. “On the field, the numbers she has put up this year are staggering. To lead the country in scoring and score 1,000 points in one season is amazing. We are so proud that Maddy became the first Associated Press All-American in program history.”
Reese had a stellar season for the Tigers, averaging 23.4 points and 15.5 rebounds while shooting 54% from the field. The sophomore forward broke Sylvia Fowles’ school record of 20 consecutive double-doubles.
“Angel Reese joined our program and has had a tremendous impact on our team,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said. “She has a special skill that sets her apart as one of the best players in the nation. She’s definitely one of the best players in the country. We’re excited to see what her future holds and what impact she wants on our team at LSU.”
Holmes helped Indiana to one of the best seasons in school history. The Hoosiers, who finished second in the AP poll, won the Big Ten regular-season title. Holmes averaged 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and shot 68.8% from the field.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment for a girl from Maine,” Indiana coach Teri Moren said. “No one is more excited and happy for her than our staff and her teammates. It’s well-deserved. She’s been working on her game since the day she arrived in Bloomington.”
Boston, Clark, Stanford’s Haley Jones, Iowa State’s Ashley Joens, Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley and DePaul’s Aneesah Morrow made the preseason All-America team.
AP’s second team was headlined by Kitley, who was the ACC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. She was joined by Stanford’s Cameron Brink, Maryland’s Diamond Miller, Notre Dame’s Olivia Miles and Utah’s Alissa Pili.
The AP third team was Joens, UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards, Morrow, Jones and South Carolina’s Zia Cooke.
Indiana’s Grace Berger and Florida State freshman Ta’Niya Latson and Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith were the leading vote-getters among players who did not make the three All-America teams. Players earned honorable mention status if they appeared on one of the ballots.
AP March Madness coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter. com /AP_Top25