Fever’s Christie Sides on 2023 Season: ‘Things Could Have Been Different’
Indiana Fever head coach Christie Sides provides a thoughtful look back at their 2023 season. This behind-the-scenes view also includes some surprising details of what went on with rookie Aliyah Boston, told exclusively to the Indianapolis Star by the Fever.
Whenever Sides fields questions about rookie Aliyah Boston, one magical word comes to mind. “Aliyah is special,” Sides said, adding that she is a great human being, wanting nothing more than a win in every game, whether she gets two touches or 20. The fact is, winning is her ultimate goal.
Boston, who earned the Associated Press Rookie of the Year title earlier, now adds the WNBA Rookie of the Year to her collection. Selected by a 60-member media panel, Boston was chosen unanimously. With this honor, she becomes only the second Fever player in franchise history to claim this prize.
Already, Boston has set numerous records at both the franchise and league levels. Her move onto the professional court saw her leading all rookies with an average of 15.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 31.2 minutes per game. In addition, she set records for total rebounds and blocks at the franchise level. An extremely consistent performer, Boston shot an impressive 57.8% from the field, breaking the rookie field goal percentage all-time record for the WNBA.
An unexpectedly bright future lies ahead for Indiana Fever, thanks to the entry of Aliyah Boston and potentially Caitlin Clark in the future. General Manager Lin Dunn shared her thoughts on the budding star’s exceptional performance. She further mentioned that the franchise had been bringing luck with the likes of Tamika Catchings and now, Aliyah Boston. The confidence to select Boston as the No. 1 draft pick was high.
Convincing Boston to join Indy did not come easy. It was only until the end of South Carolina’s 2022-23 season that Boston confirmed her decision to pass on her extra year of college eligibility in favor of entering the draft and securing her future with the Indiana Fever.
Boston’s achievement as an All-Star starter and record-breaking rookie speak volumes of her impact on the Fever’s rebuild. Her performance coupled with Kelsey Mitchell and NaLyssa Smith’s contributions led to a dramatic improvement in the team’s success rate. The Fever’s 13 wins in the 2023 season not only surpassed the previous two years combined but also marked a significant step in the right direction.
With this explosive start to her professional career, the sky seems to be the limit for Boston in her rookie seasons. Income 2024, she is poised to further grow and harness her immense potential. And given how far she’s come in just a few months, the world of her future seasons seems boundless.
Rachel Adams is your WNBA insider, delivering comprehensive coverage of women’s basketball. With a commitment to highlighting the talent and achievements of WNBA players, she provides game analysis, player profiles, and inspiring stories from the league.