"I think Laydrillia is one of the best sleepers I've seen in a long time," Hatchell said. "Not many people have heard about her because she was hurt last season, but I'm convinced there are great things ahead of her. She's strong and athletic and can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court. She's also a very good student."
Grant averaged 18 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks for Lewisville High School last season when she earned Region 3-A Player of the Year honors. She has started for her team since seventh grade and has been named to the all-state squad five times. "I chose Carolina because I feel that I can excel academically and athletically," Grant said.
Grant is a member of the National Honor Society and was elected Homecoming Queen. She is the daughter of Kathy Grant-Bonner and Leroy Bonner Jr, and is coached at Lewisville by Carol Ann Williams.
"Laydrillia is going to help give us a little more size inside," Hatchell said. "I really think she has the heart and passion to excel at the college level, and I'm convinced there are great things ahead of her."
On Nov. 12, the first day of the early period, Hatchell announced the signing of two other players, 6-2 forward Erlana Larkins and 6-3 forward/center LaToya Pringle. Larkins, from Riviera Beach, Fla., earned Florida Miss Basketball honors last season at the Benjamin School in North Palm Beach. Ranked as the fourth-best player in the class of 2004 by the All-Star Girls Report, she has earned Class 2A Player of the Year and all-state honors in each of the last three years.
Pringle, from Fayetteville, N.C., was the state of North Carolina's Miss Basketball for Class 4A in 2003 and also earned region and district Player of the Year honors. She was MVP of the 2003 region and state tournaments and joined Camille Little, now a UNC freshman, on the 2003 Associated Press all-state team. Both Larkins and Pringle led their teams to state championships last season.
The No. 13 Tar Heels are 2-0 heading into a Tuesday night game at Kentucky. Tipoff at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., is 7 p.m. The team's next home game is on Saturday at 5 p.m., when Carolina hosts UMBC at Carmichael Auditorium.