Diamond DeShields transferring from UNC

acarter@newsobserver.comApril 17, 2014 

— After one of the best freshman seasons in the history of ACC women’s basketball, Diamond DeShields is transferring from North Carolina.

There was no immediate reason provided, Mark Kimmel, a UNC women’s basketball spokesman, said Thursday. Sylvia Hatchell, the Tar Heels coach who missed last season while receiving treatment for leukemia, expressed shock at DeShields’ decision to transfer.

“I do not know or understand why Diamond DeShields has decided to leave the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” Hatchell said in a statement.

DeShields, the daughter of longtime major league baseball player Delino DeShields, helped lead the Tar Heels to a 27-10 finish and an NCAA tournament regional final. She averaged 18 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

A native of Norcross, Ga., DeShields was named the national freshman of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. She set four ACC single-season records for freshmen: points scored, field goals made and attempted and double-figure scoring games. She scored 38 points in UNC’s victory at N.C. State in February.

With DeShields, the Tar Heels would have been among the favorites to win the ACC next season. During a recent interview, Hatchell expressed excitement about coaching DeShields.

“I’m in complete remission and will be back 100 percent for next season,” Hatchell said in the statement. “It breaks my heart that I will not have the opportunity to coach Diamond and help develop her on and off the court. I love her and wish her well.”

Carter: 919-829-8944; Twitter: @_andrewcarter

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