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North Carolina freshman Leaky Black made progress Monday in his return to the court

North Carolina’s Coby White on injured teammate: ‘Leaky’s a really tough kid. He’ll be back in no time’

UNC freshman Coby White talks about teammate Leaky Black going down with an injury against Georgia Tech on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019
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UNC freshman Coby White talks about teammate Leaky Black going down with an injury against Georgia Tech on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019

Freshman Leaky Black practiced for the first time since spraining his left ankle in January, North Carolina coach Roy Williams said on his radio show Monday.

“Leaky did play in practice today and so we’ve got some hope for him,” Williams said.

It is unclear whether he will be available in the ACC tournament this week, but it’s a step in the right direction as postseason play begins.

Black, a 6-7, 185-pound guard and wing, sprained his ankle late in the second half of North Carolina’s game against Georgia Tech on Jan. 29. He has missed the last 11 games.

Black’s return to the practice court came as a surprise for Williams.

“I said, ‘No. 1 where did you come from?” Williams said. “Because I’ve been calling him 2020 for the past two months, because I thought he was going to come back and play for us in 2020.

“He looked OK. It’ll be interesting to see how he feels (Tuesday).”

UNCVA-SP-021119-RTW31.JPG
North Carolina’s Leaky Black, out with an injury, relishes in a three point lead over Virginia in the second half on Monday, February 11, 2019 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

When Black went down, Williams said it was like missing three players because of his versatility. Black can play point guard or any of the wing spots. Before Black’s injury, he was averaging 2.9 points per game, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 11.2 minutes.

He was one of the Tar Heels’ best on ball defenders.

The second seeded Tar Heels play in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Their opponent will be either No. 7 seed Louisville, No. 10 seed Gerogia Tech or No. 15 seed Notre Dame, depending on which team advances.

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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