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North Carolina

Hatchell in remission, feeling great

Posted January 15, 2014

In her first speaking appearance since being diagnosed with leukemia, North Carolina women's head basketball coach Syliva Hatchell said she feels great.

Hatchell was the guest speaker at the Raleigh Sports Club’s weekly luncheon Wednesday at Highland United Methodist Church.

After temporarily stepping away from her on-the-court coaching responsibilities in October, the coach said she is in remission. 

"I’ve been through a lot but... I was in great shape, so I’ve been able to take the treatments and go right through that, and the fact that we caught it early. That’s why everything is so good right now," said Hatchell.

Hatchell said she hopes to be back coaching by the ACC Tournament March 5-9, but she that her doctors have to determine when she can return. Hatchell will go into the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Thursday for the next five days to receive consolidation treatments.

Despite her diagnosis, Hatchell has remained close to the game and her players. The coach said she spends two to five hours a day watching practice and game film. She often speaks with the players and coaches, playing a key role from a far.

"I take notes, spend a lot of time with my staff. I do watch practice every day," Hatchell said. "It is tough not to be out there, especially when we’re starting four freshmen and a sophomore, thinking about the future. It’s exciting to be around those kids they make me feel better."

Associate head coach Andrew Calder is directing the team during Hatchell’s absence. The Tar Heels are currently ranked No. 9 in the country with a 14-3 overall record.

In September, Hatchell was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. During her 28 years leading the Tar Heels, she has compiled a 636-241 mark, won AIAW, NAIA and NCAA national championships and claimed eight ACC Tournament titles.

Overall, she has a 908-321 record in 39 seasons as a collegiate basketball coach, making her one of only three head coaches in women’s basketball to win 900 games.

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  • iron fist Jan 16, 2014

    Great news I hope Coach Hatchell continues to heal and returns to the BB court soon.

  • mike honcho Jan 16, 2014

    Awesome news, we've been praying for you coach, cant wait to see you on the sidelines again!

  • lanecc Jan 16, 2014

    Great news and I wish her the best.

  • Sally1023 Jan 16, 2014

    Wonderful news, stay strong!

  • vt94hokies Jan 15, 2014

    I have always admired her for her coaching abilities. But. I have admired her more since her health concerns. She's pretty much an Icon in basketball. I admire her courage, fortitude, and her drive to keep on giving it her best. A total winner of a person. She makes UNC-CH looks great in the eyes of people all around the Country. Looking forward to seeing her back coaching again.

  • StunGunn Jan 15, 2014

    So happy for Coach Hatchell! I hope she can be behind the Lady Heels' bench by tourney time.

  • 4tarheels Jan 15, 2014

    Good news. God bless.

  • 903 Hail Providence Jan 15, 2014

    Nice to see some good news for our friends over at UNC. Good Luck Coach.

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