Earlier this week, UNC Chapel Hill Women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell announced she plans to step down temporarily because of leukemia.
I had a chance to chat with two players from her team and they gave me insight into how the lady Tar Heels are dealing with the news. Shooting guard Megan Buckland is from High Point and said she was shocked by the news, but her team is definitely closer as a result.
Power forward, Erika Johnson told me Coach Hatchell is very confident in her situation and assured players she will be back. They told me Hatchell will undergo weeks of treatment and hopefully in time, and with her doctor's permission, she will be back on the court where she belongs.
However, don't think Hatchell will stop coaching during her time off. Buckland told me the coach has it set up to where their practice video goes immediately to her hospital room and she watches every minute of it. She also still writes their daily practice plans.
Johnson said they will wear pins on their jerseys for every game Hatchell misses. She added, "Coach Hatchell is a very strong woman and she's not going to back down on some leukemia."
Hatchell is the second most winningest women's coach in the NCAA and has won more than 900 games. She led the Tar Heels to a national championship and eight ACC championships.