UNC Women's Basketball signs two in early period

Atkinson and Sell will join the Tar Heel squad for the 2002-03 season.

North Marion's Jessica Sell signs her letter of intent this morning/IC Photo
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Two highly-regarded high school seniors have signed letters of intent to join the University of North Carolina women's basketball program. La'Tangela Atkinson and Jessica Sell, versatile players who will join the squad for the 2002-03 season, inked on Wednesday morning, the first day of the fall signing period.

"Both La'Tangela and Jessica are very highly-skilled players," UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell says. "They have good size and can play just about any position we need them to play. Both can come in and contribute right away. I'm very excited to have them join our team."

Atkinson, a 6-1 guard/forward from Bishopville, S.C., was named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year and USA Today Player of the Year last season as a junior. She helped lead Lee Central High to an undefeated season and state championship in 2000-01 while averaging 26 points and seven rebounds. Atkinson is ranked as high as No. 3 among this year's senior class. She was ranked as the top junior in the nation by The All Star Girls Report.

"I picked UNC because of its blend of academics and athletics and the basketball tradition," Atkinson says. "It was a childhood dream of mine to come to North Carolina."

Sell is a 5-11 guard from Barrackville, W. Va., and is coached at North Marion High School by her father, Rick. A left-hander, she averaged 24.7 points and 12.8 rebounds per game in her junior season, when she earned all-state recognition. She carries a 4.0 GPA and will graduate with highest honors. The All Star Girls Report ranks Sell 61st among all high school seniors.

I love the UNC campus, the coaches, the players and the attitude of the university as a whole," Sell says. 'I really feel that I could not have made a better choice."

Carolina has just one senior, guard Nikki Teasley, on its 2001-02 roster. The rest of this year's team is made up of three juniors, four sophomores and five freshmen.

UNC (2-0) will face top-ranked Connecticut (2-0) Thursday night in a Preseason WNIT semifinal game. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. in Storrs, Conn.

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