Report: Father of former South Carolina women’s basketball star Alaina Coates passes away while driving

There’s sad news to come out of South Carolina, with word that the father of Gamecocks women’s basketball great Alaina Coates reportedly died while driving this week.

As reported by The State’s Noah Feit and Susan M. Ardis, 55-year-old Gary Coates suffered cardiac arrest while driving at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in Blythewood, S.C., per Richland County Coroner Gary Watts. Gary Coates’ car “left the roadway and struck a tree,” per the report from Feit and Ardis. Gary Coates was pronounced dead at the scene.

The State’s report says that Gary Coates “suffered from a cardiac event that caused his death” and that there was no trauma from the accident. Gary Coates’ death officially has been ruled from natural causes.

Alaina Coates became the highest WNBA draft pick in South Carolina history, after the Chicago Sky took her second overall last year. She averaged a double-double in her final season with the Gamecocks, scoring 12.9 points per game and totaling 10.7 rebounds per game as a senior.

She was named to the All-SEC second team in her first two seasons in college. During her junior and senior campaigns, she was a first-team All-SEC selection.

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