IC: How did it feel today to sign your letter of intent?
Jessica Sell: It felt like a dream coming true, I know that phrase is used a lot but there is no other way I can describe it. I felt so excited, so thrilled as I was signing my name to that paper today. It was also like a relief, it took a lot of pressure off of me to go ahead and get it out of the way before my senior year of basketball. Now I can concentrate on this year's season without that pressure.
It was just absolutely amazing, the feeling I got to sign my name on that paper and make it official.
IC: What made you pick UNC?
The coaches, they are just so great. They are the the type of people you can have a real relationship with. Coach Hatchell and Coach Williams, Coach Crawley and Coach Calder are all just like a second family. Then you add in the team and their attitude, their personalities - they just accepted me so well. It just seemed like I was basically going into another family. The atmosphere and the attitudes of everyone really sold me, not to mention their mixture of academics and athletics that has been such a tradition at UNC.
I mean, I couldn't have picked a better school.
IC: When you visited, who did you spend time with?
Courtney, Courtney Chambers, was my host so I got to spend more time with her than anyone else. I had a really good time with her, we found that we had a lot of things in common. I got to get to know her and a lot of other players. Tiffany Tucker emailed me and I emailed her back. Everyone of the girls ... were so nice. They treated me like I was already part of the team and that was very appealing to me.
IC: Did you get to go to Midnight Madness?
Jessica Sell: Yes I did, that was so exciting! The atmosphere, the way the student body gets involved and gets so pumped up for athletic occasions was just mind blowing. It was so so amazing, I loved the whole attitude, the whole arena there. I was very impressed.
IC: Did you see the signs some students had up for you?
Jessica Sell: I did see that - I saw a piece of one and my dad, who is taller could see better and he was reading it to me. That just made my heart completely melt. I was like 'Oh my goodness', it seemed like everything was centered around me and they were so welcoming - they made me feel like I was already there, I was already a part of the Tar Heel family.
The feeling I got was undescribable, if I were to put words to it, it would be an understatement.
IC: Did you take any other official visits?
Jessica Sell: No UNC was the only official. I took some unofficial but I didn't take any official before I verballed. I verballed July 1st, so I had no desire.
IC: When did Coach Hatchell offer you?
Jessica Sell: July 1st! The day I was packing my bags leaving Elite camp and she offered. I thought 'Oh my goodness, of course. Yes, a million times, yes'. I was so thrilled but now today - I'm a thousand times more thrilled to sign the papers and make it official.
IC: Tell us about your game. Strengths, weaknesses.
I consider myself to be a very versatile player, that's what I like most about my game. Coach Hatchell mentioned a lot of similiarities between La'Tangela and I because of our size and because we can play wherever they put us. I can drive well and I can make nice moves to the bucket and finish. My shot is good but it isn't good enough. that is probably the weakest part of my game. The thing I work on most when in the gym alone is my shot and getting the three off quicker, right off the dribble - shooting right off the dribble is probably what I work on most. I'm comfortable playing anywhere on the floor and that's what I like most about my game. But there is always little aspects that you have to pick up every day, I'll never be content with how I am as a basketball player.
IC: Have you met La'Tangela yet?
Jessica Sell: YES! Yes, I have met her. Actually, I have to get my stuff together and write her a letter to tell her I can't wait to get down there, go to school with her and play with her. She's really nice, has a great personality and a wonderful basketball player. I was really impressed with her as a person and a basketball player. I really look forward to playing with her.
IC: Where do you see yourself playing in college?
Jessica Sell: In college, I probably see myself as a 1 or 2, maybe a 3 but most likely a 1 or 2.
IC: Your height at the point, that could be devastating.
Jessica Sell: Yeah, I'm a pretty tall candidate for point guard (laugh) but that can be good at times.
IC: When is your first game?
Jessica Sell: We are in the second week of practice and we'll travel three hours south to Nitro for our first scrimmage on the 24th.
North Marion 2001-2002 Schedule|
Dec. 5 Buckhannon-Upshur A
Dec. 7 Preston A
Dec. 11 Morgantown A
Dec. 13 Elkins H
Dec. 14 Williamstown H
Dec. 18 Preston H
Dec. 21-22 Greenbrier East Tournament A
Dec. 27-28 Nicholas County Tournament A
Jan. 3 University H
Jan. 5 Wheeling Park A
Jan. 10 Fairmont Senior H
Jan. 15 East Fairmont H
Jan. 22 Bridgeport A
Jan. 24 Morgantown H
Jan. 29 Elkins A
Jan. 31 Fairmont Senior A
Feb. 5 East Fairmont H
Feb. 9 Wheeling Park H
Feb. 12 University A
Feb. 14 Buckhannon-Upshur H
Jessica Sell: We are going to Greenbriar East for a holiday tournament and we should be matched up with probably the best of the southern state talent. Then we are going to Nicholas County, also in the southern state, for a tournament.
IC: How do you feel about your teams chances this year?
Jessica Sell: Our season is looking real promising. We have seven seniors who have played together since the fifth grade. the confidence level is real high. Everyone seems to have a work ethic as one, there is not just a few players that want to work and that just really want to get to states, it seems like a whole attitude for the team this year. I feel that unity is going to bring us to Charleston this year for the state tournament.
IC: What is it like playing for your dad?
Jessica Sell: It has its good points and its bad. It's kinda stressful at times, but I think in the long run all his constructive criticism he brings home after practice, well I think it's all paying off. If he wasn't constantly at my heels, pushing me and pushing me, making me the best I can be, I doubt I'd be signing those papers today. I really owe a lot of it to him.
It gets tough but in the long run, I'm going to be shaking his hand, thanking him.
IC: How was your experiences this summer in national level AAU events?
Jessica Sell: It was exciting - I love to be matched up with talent like that. It makes me lift my game up that much more, makes me want to play that much harder and prove myself even more to try to be recognized to play at the next level. I love playing in that atmosphere with girls from all across the country who have as much or more talent than I do. It's great to see all the different types of players and styles of play from all-across the country. I love the AAU national tournament.
After talking to Jess, we checked in her dad and coach, Rick Sell
IC: When did you know Jess was really good?
Coach Sell: We knew at the junior high level. She was surrounded by some wonderful talent but we had two or three girls who stood head and shoulders above the rest and they did things that were just incredible - it was very easy to coach a group like that. And that point, we thought she'd probably move on out of high school and continue the sports - we didn't know level. Of course here again that was pretty much dependent on her drive and ambition. Once she hit the high school ranks and we saw what she was capable there, it was just a matter of getting her to beleive in herself and exploit those talents. She's done a fine job of that, she knows what she wants and she's a hard worker. She's self-motivated, as a coach, you have to love that.
IC: Jess says that you have seven seniors this year.
Coach Sell: Yes, I've either coached or coaches against these girls since the fifth grade. So we know each other very well. We ought to have a good season this year. We've got some tremendous athletic ability and talent, we are just lacking really a big girl. But we are going to try to use a little different strategy and attack it that way. We can't stretch'em at this point. No we can't.
IC: What do you think your chances are of getting to Charleston? (where the state finals are held)
Coach Sell: I tell you, we are right in there. If these girls buckled down and play smart, we can play with anyone in the state.