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.