menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch

Far From Home, Aliyah Boston Has Found A Home On The Court With USA Basketball

  • Author:
    By Kyle Ringo, Red Line Editorial
  • Date:
    May 29, 2018

After being cut in her first USA Basketball camp, Boston is an emerging talent on U.S. youth rosters.

Every player who earns an invitation to a USA Basketball training camp prior to the selection of national teams has made sacrifices in their personal lives to get there.

Aliyah Boston has sacrificed and then some.

Boston, a 6-foot-4 forward from Worcester Academy in Massachusetts, grew up in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She began to fall in love with basketball when she was 9, watching her older sister Alexis play the game. Just a few years later, the Boston sisters decided to move from a place many see as paradise to New England, all to give themselves a better chance at a brighter future.

They left their parents behind in St. Thomas and moved in with an aunt, Jenaire Hodge, hoping to develop both academically and in their basketball careers, and see how far their talents could take them.

Over the past four years, Aliyah Boston has seen her parents only a few times each school year, and then again in July for a longer stretch when they come to watch her play AAU basketball.

“It has made it hard, but these are just stepping stones to help me become who I want to be,” Boston said. “So it is very difficult, but one day at a time. That’s how you do it.”

Boston was invited to compete for a spot on a USA Basketball roster for the third-straight year this spring, participating in the 2018 USA Women’s U17 World Cup Team Trials. She was named a finalist for the 2016 USA U17 World Cup Team, but just missed making the final roster. Last year she not only made the cut, she led the 2017 USA U16 National Team in scoring and rebounding (11.8 ppg. and 8.6 rpg.) as it won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And, after helping lead the USA to its spotless 5-0 record, Boston was named MVP of the U16 championship.

She said she learned lessons from both of her previous USA Basketball experiences.

“I went up against stronger players than I was,” she said of missing out on the U17 roster in 2016. “So it helped me realize how much training I have to do, not just basketball-wise but also in the weight room with conditioning as well. So since the first time when I didn’t make it, I have been lifting and my conditioning workouts have been better. I’ve been running more. So it really just helped me realize what I need to work on compared to all the other kids.”

Last summer, she noticed some of the other post players she competed against in training camp and then in international play had more to their games than she did. She was more of true post player at that point while others could handle the ball and shoot from distance.

Boston has dedicated herself over the past year to working on her ballhandling and perimeter shooting. She said her high school coach, Sherry Levin, and her AAU coach, Walter Welsh, have been instrumental in her becoming a more well-rounded player.

She said prior to the U17 World Cup Team Trials that she was feeling confident with how she has progressed in those areas.

“It’s looking pretty good,” she said. “I think I’ve come really far because I’m comfortable taking 3s. I’ve worked on it so much that I’m pretty sure they’ll go in now.”

While she doesn’t get to see her parents as much as most of the players with whom she competes, she said they instilled in her the work ethic that has brought her this far. Her parents work on the island as a bartender and a manager. She also credits her aunt, who is a catering director.

“I started playing basketball because of my older sister,” Boston said. “When I was younger I kind of wanted to do whatever she did. She started playing basketball. So I did, too. My parents have been helpful since I started.

“When I first started playing, it was kind of just for fun, but then I realized how much you could get out of playing. So we’ve all had faith in God that I could; my goal is to go to college with a scholarship. God has helped us with that. I’m getting there. My parents have been encouraging me, and my sister is basically the reason I started playing basketball. So if it wasn’t for her, I don’t know where I’d actually be.”

Boston has developed into one of the most sought-after recruits in the country in the 2019 class. As of May, she had trimmed her list of schools to six, but she wasn’t ready to identify any specifically. It won’t be long before she chooses where she will spend the next four years, fulfilling a dream she began working towards years ago in the Caribbean sunshine. But for now, she is hoping for another chance to represent her country in international play this summer.

“I’m just really looking forward to the opportunity again,” Boston said. “It would be really great to wear the USA on my chest once again.”

Kyle Ringo is a freelance contributor to USAB.com on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Related Tags:

Related Videos

USA Basketball Women's U17 World Cup and U18 Championship teams trained hard and returned home with gold in 2018 - don't miss USAB.com's Best of Sights and Sounds for both golden teams.

Don't miss USAB.com's Best of Slomo of its 2018 USA Men's And Women's Junior National Teams.

USA Basketball Women's U17 World Cup and U18 National teams won gold in 2018 - catch USAB.com's Best of Highlights for both golden teams.

Related Content

Haley Jones, a gold-medalist at the 2018 U17 World Cup, will be back in 2019 for the USA U19 World Cup Team trials.

  • Author:
    Steve Lee, Red Line Editorial
  • Date:
    Apr 7, 2019

On the same day the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa drew worldwide attention with the nation’s greatest college players vying for a national championship, across the bay in Clearwater was a gym filled with top-ranked national and international players aspiring to get their shot at the next level.

Six USA Women’s Junior National Team gold medalists have accepted invitations to participate in the NCAA Next Generation for Women during the 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Florida.

No fewer than 30 teams that will compete in the 2019 Women's NCAA Tournament have athletes and/or coaches with USA Basketball ties. Who are they and how are they connected?  The complete list is below.  Download the full listing (PDF)  to find out who played on or coached for which...

USA Basketball Women's U17 World Cup and U18 Championship teams trained hard and returned home with gold in 2018 - don't miss USAB.com's Best of Sights and Sounds for both golden teams.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login



Forgot Password?