The Chicago Sky selected center, Alaina Coates, from the University of South Carolina with the 2nd overall pick and guard, Tori Jankoska, from Michigan State University with the 9th overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm. General Manager and Head Coach Amber Stocks rounded out the draft selecting forward/center, Chantel Osahor, from the University of Washington with the 21st pick in the second round and guard, Makayla Epps, from the University of Kentucky as 33rd overall in the third round.
“Coming into this draft, it was about getting the best players and the best talent. We chose players that had the mental toughness to transition from college to the WNBA,” said Stocks. “Together, these strong women will enhance our roster and build on our existing depth with size and versatility.”
Coates, a four-time All-SEC and two-time All-Defensive player, helped lead South Carolina to the Final Four in 2015 and 2017 and a championship in 2017. Coates is South Carolina’s career leader in field goal percentage, defensive rebounds and second in double-doubles and blocks. Coates was an AP All-America honorable mention selection in each of the last two seasons.
“I am so excited to go to Chicago,” said Coates. “The only time I’ve been there was for the McDonald’s High School All-American game. Besides the cold weather, I have heard great things.”
Jankoska, is the all-time leader in MSU women’s history for the most made three-point field goals, free throws and second all-time leader in assists. She was the first Spartan woman and 5th MSU player (male or female) to top 2,000 points. In 2017, she was a unanimous All-Big Ten First Team selection and a two-time Second Team selection in 2015 and 2016.
“When I heard my name called, I burst into tears,” said Jankoska. “I am so excited to play for Coach Stocks and the Sky organization. I remember being in the arena and watching the Sky play during the playoffs, and to have this opportunity now, is unreal.”
Osahor, an interior presence who gained notoriety for her old-school, low-arc, set-shot-type three point shot, and has been analyzed favorably by ESPN SportsScience’s John Brenkus. Brenkus noted her quick forearm and wrist movements provide a release time of 0.4 second, equal to that of the NBA’s Steph Curry. Osahor is Washington’s career rebounding leader and only second UW woman with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Osahor was a 2016-17 semi-finalist for the Wooden National Player of the Year Award. She also led Division I in double-doubles.
Epps is the first University of Kentucky woman ever to earn three All-SEC First Team honors from the league’s coaches in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In the 2016-17 season, she was UK’s top scorer and third leading scorer in the SEC, ending the regular season among the SEC’s top ten in points, field goal percentage and assists. She was the first UK player with 500 points and 100 assists in consecutive seasons.
Coates, Jankoska, Osahor and Epps will join the Chicago Sky when training camp opens on April 23, 2017. For more information or to purchase tickets for the 2017 season call 866.SKY.WNBA or visit CHICAGOSKY.NET.