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Aliyah Boston goes No. 1 overall, Gamecocks well represented in WNBA Draft

It was a big night for former stars.

WNBA: WNBA Draft Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina showed out at the WNBA Draft on Monday night, as Aliyah Boston’s No. 1 overall selection highlighted the drafting of five Gamecocks and the program joined Notre Dame (2019) and Tennessee (2008, 1999) as the only schools to boast at least that many first-round picks.

As expected, the Indiana Fever made Boston South Carolina’s second No. 1 pick — the first, of course, being A’ja Wilson. The Atlanta Dream chose fellow post player Laeticia Amihere at No. 8, and guard Zia Cooke was grabbed just a couple picks later by the L.A. Sparks at 10th overall. The three first-round selections matched a program best set in 2017.

Guard Brea Beal went to the Minnesota Lynx in the second round at No. 24, and the Fever used its third-round choice to reunite forward Victaria Saxton with Boston at 25th.

With so many stars departing the Gamecocks to begin their professional careers and ending an era, it’s fair to wonder what South Carolina’s 2023-24 roster will look like. Coach Dawn Staley has been no slouch on the recruiting trail, as USC boasts a top-3 class, with local point guard Milaysia Fulwiley (Keenan High School) rated as the 13th-best national prospect. The Gamecocks will also welcome guard Tessa Johnson (No. 25) and forward Sahnya Jah (No. 40) to the fold; forward Chloe Kitts, rated 17th, was technically also part of this group, but skipped her senior year to join South Carolina early this past season.

The Gamecocks also return guard Raven Johnson, who got a lot of seasoning this year after missing her freshman campaign due to injury, and forward Kamilla Cardoso, who was a defensive anchor for South Carolina and will surely see her role expand with the absence of Boston. And speaking of Cardoso, the transfer portal is likely to factor into Staley’s roster building plans as well, as the Gamecocks have gotten some key additions from it in the past.