Sports

UNC coach Roy Williams says freshman wing suffered an ‘ankle sprain’ against Georgia Tech

rwillett@newsobserver.com

North Carolina freshman Leaky Black’s injury apparently was not as bad as it initially appeared.

UNC coach Roy Williams said Black suffered an “ankle sprain” on his left foot.

Black, a 6-7, 185-pound guard and forward suffered the ankle injury late in the second half as he tried to block a shot. He came down awkwardly and rolled his ankle. Black stayed on the ground and grabbed at his foot in pain, as Williams and a trainer rushed over to him.

Black has been a key player off the bench for the Tar Heels. He averages 2.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 11.2 minutes per game. He is also one of the Tar Heels’ best on ball defenders, and can play almost every position.

The injury looked bad initially. Black was carried off the court by teammates Brandon Huffman and Sterling Manley. His head hung low as he headed back to the locker room.

“My thoughts were all over the place,” UNC freshman Nassir Little said after the game. “That’s my brother right there...Coach was talking, but it was kind of hard for me to pay attention because I was really worried about my brother.”

Williams addresses the media following the Tar Heels' win over Georgia Tech

UNC freshman point guard Coby White said the same.

“I just didn’t want to see him hurt,” White said. “I was just hoping it wasn’t anything severe that would keep him out for a long time. They say it was just a rolled ankle. Leaky’s a really tough kid so he’ll be back in no time.”

No. 9 UNC (16-4, 6-1 ACC) beat Georgia Tech Tuesday on the road 77-54.

Black left the locker room after the game in crutches and a walking boot. It is unclear how long he will be out. UNC plays No. 15 Louisville on Saturday.

Jonathan M. Alexander has been covering the North Carolina Tar Heels since May 2018. He previously covered Duke basketball and recruiting in the ACC. He is an alumnus of N.C. Central University.
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