South Carolina center Alaina Coates is not at the Final Four after being lost for the year with an ankle injury suffered in the SEC Tournament, and she took time Sunday to address speculation that there’s more to the story.
Coates issued the following statement via her Twitter account Sunday just as the Gamecocks were tipping off in their national championship game against Mississippi State and shortly after ESPN commentators addressed her absence.
Coates was set to attend the Final Four until medical staff intervened. She instead stayed back home to rest up ahead of the WNBA draft.
“Our medical staff just thinks it’s best that she not move around on it and not jump around because the excitement of being at a Final Four, you don’t want to hurt that ankle any further,” coach Dawn Staley said Saturday. “She was going to come and our medical staff intervened, and we just thought it was best that she just stay off of it.”