Two Lady Gamecocks Chosen to Represent Team USA in Pan Am Games


Two outstanding Lady Gamecocks, Tiffany Mitchell and Alaina Coates, have been chosen to represent the United States at the Women’s Pan American Games, July 16th-20th in Toronto, Canada.

Junior Tiffany Mitchell was not only team captain last season, but has a list of awards, nominations and achievements as long as she is tall (full list here from, including SEC Player of the Year and the Dawn Staley Award. She will be a strong guard for the US team, bringing experience and leadership, and she already looks good in gold, as she already owns a gold medal for her performance in the 2014 FIBA 3×3 World Championship.

Sophomore Alaina Coates finished second in the SEC for double-doubles last season and was named to the All SEC and All Defensive team. At 6-foot four, Alaina is a powerful center who knows how to put points on the scoreboard, being USC’s leading scorer five games last season.

The Pan American (Pan Am) games are held every four years, preceding the Olympics by one year.  Pan Am started in 1951 for men and 1955 for women and is a multi-sport competition for athletes from North, South and Central America.

Fifty-four female basketball players accepted invitations to the 2015 Pan Am tryouts, which were held in May at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Only 12 athletes were selected to represent the US in the Pan Am games and South Carolina was the only school with two participants.   Practice will be held July 3-15 in Colorado.

The US team will face Brazil on July 16th, Dominican Republic on July 17th and Puerto Rico on July 18th in the preliminary rounds.  The top two teams from the preliminary rounds will face off in the semi-finals on July 19th.  The winners of the semi-finals will battle for the gold medal and the losers of the semi-finals will compete for the bronze medal on July 20th.

During the 2011 games, where we had no representation from USC, the US lost to Argentina and Puerto Rico and finished 7th out of 8.  The last time the US won the gold medal was in 2007, under Dawn Staley’s leadership, who herself was a participant back in 1995.  The overall US record in the Pan Am games is 74-14, including 7 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 2 bronze medals.

In case you missed it, the Lady Gamecocks finished last season with only 2 losses and made it through 5 rounds in the NCAA tournament.  Congratulations to Tiffany and Alaina, we’re lucky to have Team USA and South Carolina represented by you ladies!