South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock great is back in the pro game, signs with champs

South Carolina basketball legend Brea Beal signed a deal with the WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces.

South Carolina basketball legend Brea Beal defending against Maryland in the NCAA Tournament
South Carolina basketball legend Brea Beal defending against Maryland in the NCAA Tournament / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball fans were a bit perplexed last year when versatile wing Brea Beal did not "stick" on a WNBA roster.

After a career in garnet and black in which she earned Honorable Mention All-American honors, Beal was selected in the 2nd round of the 2023 WNBA Draft (one of five Gamecocks taken in the draft). However, she didn't play in a WNBA game last season despite fans from teams all over the league calling for their favorite team to bring her on board.

On Thursday, though, the wrong was righted a bit as the Las Vegas Aces signed Beal to a training camp contract, according to a report from ESPN's Andraya Carter.

Beal should bring defensive intensity and underrated offensive abilities to Las Vegas. She was an SEC All-Defensive player at Carolina who often was assigned the toughest non-post assignment by Gamecock head coach Dawn Staley. She was a 3-time winner of the Miss Basketball honor in the state of Illinois in high school, and some of the offensive skills that helped her win that award (namely, a nice crossover and a good shooting touch from outside) translated to the college game.

Now with the Aces, Beal will have the chance to carve out a spot on the best roster in the sport.

The Aces, of course, are the home of South Carolina basketball legend A'ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum, who recently invited Gamecock guards MiLaysia Fulwiley and Raven Johnson to her annual "Dawg Class."

Vegas won the 2023 WNBA Finals, as well, and Beal will have the chance to play alongside and learn from similarly-gifted wing players like Jackie Young and Alysha Clark (Young playing more of a guard-style wing and Clark playing more of a forward-style wing). The two players' defensive versatility looks a lot like Beal's as Beal was asked to guard players from the 1-4 positions in college.

According to the Aces' official online roster, Beal is the 14th player on the Vegas squad. With a limit of just 12 active players, Beal will be competing for a roster spot in training camp ahead of the season that begins in May.

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