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Three Gamecocks Invited to WNBA Draft

South Carolina center Alaina Coates (41) attempts a shot between Georgia forward Caliya Robinson (4) and Haley Clark (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Three Gamecocks will represent South Carolina’s national championship women’s basketball team at WNBA Draft 2017 presented by State Farm on Thu., April 13, at Samsung 837 in New York. Senior center Alaina Coates along with junior guards Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray will be on hand for the event, which will air on ESPN2 for the first round beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The second and third rounds will air on ESPNU starting at 8 p.m. ET, and coverage will also stream live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

The San Antonio Stars hold the No. 1 overall pick in the draft after winning the WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm last September. The Chicago Sky will pick second, followed by two selections for the Dallas Wings, who have their own pick at No. 3 and acquired the No. 4 pick from the Los Angeles Sparks in a trade.

A four-time All-SEC selection, Coates finished her four seasons as the program’s all-time leader in career field goal percentage (.620) and career defensive rebounds (850). She is second in career rebounds (1230), double-doubles (57) and blocked shots (210) and has seven other top-10 entries in the Gamecocks’ career record book, including ranking 10th in scoring (1603). Coates became just the third Gamecock all-time to amass 1,000 career points and rebounds and the first since 1980-81 to collect 50 career double-doubles. She is the fourth Gamecock to accrue 1,500 career points playing every season in the SEC and the 12th overall to hit that mark. In 2016-17, Coates averaged a double-double overall (12.9 ppg/10.7 rpg), in SEC action (12.7 ppg/11.1 rpg) and against ranked opponents (11.8 ppg/11.4 rpg).

Davis enjoyed just one season as a Gamecock after transferring into the program from Georgia Tech, and her presence helped deliver South Carolina’s first NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship in 2017. The NCAA Stockton Regional Most Outstanding Player averaged 15.5 points in the NCAA Tournament, and her 16.3 points per game on 50.0 percent shooting in the SEC Tournament helped deliver the Gamecocks’ third straight title at the event. Four of her eight 20-point games came in the postseason, including both games of the Stockton Regional.

Gray became the Gamecocks’ most consistent guard as she quietly amassed 29 double-figure scoring games in the team’s 37 outings. She was 19th in the SEC in scoring at 13.2 points per game and shot 51.0 percent from the field. Her contributions went beyond the scoring column, though, as she was second on the team with 2.5 assists per game and posted 18 games of five or more rebounds and nine games of four or more assists. She was named to the All-Tournament teams in both the NCAA Stockton Regional and the Final Four.

Six Gamecocks all-time have been selected in the WNBA Draft, including two during head coach Dawn Staley’s tenure - Aleighsa Welch (2015) and Tiffany Mitchell (2016). The highest selection of a Gamecock has been No. 9, which was the draft position of Mitchell (2016, Indiana), Jocelyn Penn (2003, Charlotte) and Shaunzinski Gortman (2002, Charlotte).

2017 Order of Selection

First Round

1. San Antonio

2. Chicago (from Washington)

3. Dallas

4. Dallas (from Connecticut)

5. San Antonio (from Phoenix)

6. Washington (from Seattle)

7. Atlanta

8. Connecticut (from Indiana)

9. Chicago

10. Dallas (from New York)

11 Los Angeles (from LA via Dallas)

12. Minnesota

Second Round

1. Connecticut (from San Antonio)

2. New York (from Dallas)

3. Seattle (from Washington)

4. Connecticut

5. Indiana (from Phoenix)

6. Washington (from Seattle)

7. Atlanta

8. Indiana

9. Chicago

10. Indiana (from New York via Atlanta)

11. Dallas (from Los Angeles)

12. Minnesota

Third Round

1. San Antonio

2. Dallas

3. Washington

4. Connecticut

5. Phoenix

6. Seattle

7. Atlanta

8. Indiana

9. Chicago

10. New York

11. Los Angeles

12. Minnesota

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