South Carolina’s Dawn Staley chides ESPN for not inviting Aliyah Boston to ESPYs

South Carolina’s Dawn Staley chides ESPN for not inviting Aliyah Boston to ESPYs

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Dawn Staley, basketball legend and the head coach of South Carolina women’s basketball, called out ESPN for failing to invite Aliyah Boston to its ESPY Awards this week.

Staley chided ESPN for not extending an invite to Boston, who helped the Gamecocks to a championship in 2022, won the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, won the Naismith College Player of the Year, won the John R. Wooden Award, won the Wade Trophy, won the AP Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year and the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

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Head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after defeating the UConn Huskies during the championship game of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after defeating the UConn Huskies during the championship game of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Boston is also nominated for Best College Athlete, Women’s Sports at the ESPYs. The ceremony is set for Wednesday.

“Like really….who in the room from @espn @ESPYS decided it was a great idea not to invite @MarchMadnessWBB NPOY DPOY….not one person was able to see the uproar this would cause? There’s definitely something wrong with the make up of the room……the fight continue….#WBBSTANDUP,” Staley tweeted Sunday.

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South Carolina women’s basketball spokeswoman Diana Koval said that as of Monday, Boston had not been invited and Staley hadn’t planned to attend the ceremonies.

Head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks receives the WBCA coaches trophy after defeating the UConn Huskies during the championship game of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks receives the WBCA coaches trophy after defeating the UConn Huskies during the championship game of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

ESPN responded in a statement.

“We have the utmost respect for Aliyah Boston, Dawn Staley and the South Carolina Gamecocks,” the outlet said. “Due to both COVID restrictions and a new venue with much less seating capacity than previous shows, ‘The 2022 ESPYs’ prioritized athlete invitations to focus on specific awards that will be handed out during the broadcast.”

Aliyah Boston #4 of the South Carolina Gamecocks and head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrate in the locker room after defeating the UConn Huskies during the championship game of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Aliyah Boston #4 of the South Carolina Gamecocks and head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrate in the locker room after defeating the UConn Huskies during the championship game of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

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Staley, Boston and the Gamecocks won the women’s basketball title on ESPN. Staley was also a part of the recent ESPN documentary focusing on the emergence of the WNBA.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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