Alaina Coates discussing mental health, treatment, Turkey

Indianapolis – Alaina Coates has seen peaks that most people only dream of, but to find itself again, the Indiana Fever Center had to take a hard look in the mirror and analyze the valleys.

She couldn’t get over what she was feeling, not after all she had been through. Therefore, in order to save her career, Coats temporarily let her go.

“I didn’t play last year, I took it personally, but not in a bad way,” Coates said. “I just needed to work on myself.” “…I feel so accomplished. I’ve worked so hard to get back here.”

While Coates stood on the Fever training ground on Thursday — nearly two years after her last WNBA game with the Washington Mystics in 2020 — she unveiled her hiatus from the league in 2021. During that time, she got a therapist and made her mental health a priority . This was the first time Coates really examined the ups and downs of her life.

Washington Mystics center Alina Coates (81) steals the ball from Seattle Storm Center Izzy Magbigor (13) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Thursday, July 30, 2020 in Bradenton, Florida (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

In a span of two years, she went from winning a national championship in South Carolina and was placed second overall by the Chicago Sky in 2017, to missing her entire rookie season due to a right ankle injury and her 55-year-old father, Gary, dying of cardiac arrest. On March 13, 2018 – just over two months before her WNBA debut.

By her own admission, Coats said she wasn’t in the right place when she started her career, and as she was trying to move forward with it, she eventually realized that keeping her foot on the gas pedal wasn’t the answer.