There’s ridiculous and then there’s the most dominant college basketball player in the country, Aliyah Boston, not being invited to the ESPY awards. Her agent, Jade-Li English of Klutch Sports, said the South Carolina women’s basketball NCAA tournament champion, who is nominated for Best College Athlete in women’s sports, wasn’t given the invite. That’s unfathomable.
Boston was this year’s Most Outstanding Player, Naismith Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. She swept every major award she could’ve been given AND won the tournament in a 15-point blowout over UConn.
The ESPYS bio on Twitter reads: “The #ESPYS brings the best sports stories of the year together in one amazing night.” I’m not sure how it lives up to its claim without one of the best comeback stories in college basketball tournament history.
Boston’s blown layup in the 2021 Final Four could’ve sent her team to the championship game. She fought all offseason and beyond to overcome it — and did — as a college junior. She has a whole other year to come back even better!
The ESPYS need to correct its wrong to have any legitimate standing as this year’s premier sports award show. Not just for excluding one of its top women athletes on a stage made to help grow the sport it airs every winter, but even for the accuracy of celebrating sports’ greatest triumphs.