It has been a long, difficult stretch for North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell, whose program appears to be in the cross hairs of an NCAA investigation, but her new book about her fight against cancer is atop a bestseller list.
Hatchell’s book, titled “Fight! Fight! Discovering Your Inner Strength When Blindsided by Life,” on Thursday became the No. 1 Amazon new release in the website’s “cancer books” category. Hatchell’s book was released earlier this week.
It chronicles the 18 months after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in October 2013. Her diagnosis and subsequent treatment forced her to miss the 2013-14 season but she returned, healthy and cancer free, in time for the start of the 2014-15 season.
“I wrote this book because I wanted to help other people as they go through difficult times,” Hatchell said in a statement. “People are going through some extremely trying things in life, and I’m always inspired by the courage and boldness that they display.
“All I want to be is a guide for others as they face some unfathomable challenges in life.”
Though she is healthy now, Hatchell continues to endure challenges. The UNC women’s basketball program has become a focal point of a long-running NCAA investigation into an 18-year scheme of suspect African Studies courses.
It appears that the women’s basketball program is more at risk than other sports to suffer significant consequences related to the scandal. The allegations of wrongdoing within the women’s basketball program are related to Jan Boxill, who was the program’s academic counselor.
Amid the controversy surrounding her program, Hatchell, a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame, has been promoting the release of her book. At the time of her diagnosis in 2013 she had been working on a memoir about her life in coaching.
After her diagnosis and treatment Hatchell stopped working on her memoir and began writing what became “Fight! Fight!” In the book, she writes about how her purpose in life changed.
For decades, she wrote, it had been to shape young women through coaching and basketball. During the 18 months after her diagnosis she discovered a new purpose, she wrote: “To share my story about battling cancer with others.”