Dutch Fork graduate and former Gamecock, Alaina Coates, finds new WNBA team

WNBA player Alaina Coates. Photo provided.

Alaina Coates has found a new home in the WNBA.

The former Dutch Fork state champion and University of South Carolina national champion was signed by the Atlanta Dream Thursday. The acquisition comes days after Coates was released by the Minnesota Lynx, who acquired her from a trade with the Chicago Sky.

“We are thrilled to add a player with the size and athleticism of Alaina,” head coach Nicki Collen said. “We have struggled at times with defensive rebounding and scoring efficiently around the rim this season, and we believe she can help us in those two areas now and in the future.”

The 6-4 Coates played in 14 games with Minnesota this season, averaging 2.4 rebounds and 2.5 points per game. Ironically, her top performance in 2019 came against Atlanta on July 2 when she set a career-high with 10 points and added nine rebounds.

Coates was drafted second overall by the Chicago Sky in the 2017 WNBA Draft after she left South Carolina as their career leader in field goal percentage. As a rookie, she played in 32 games, averaging 11.4 minutes, 3.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest.

She will officially join the team Sunday.

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