IC Interview with Byron Sanders

<i>Inside Carolina</i> spoke on Tuesday night with new Tar Heel Byron Sanders, who committed to Coach Doherty and Co. over the weekend.

After committing to the Tar Heels during his official visit to Carolina last weekend, Byron Sanders and his parents left Chapel Hill Monday afternoon and drove home. Twelve hours later, at 5 a.m., the Sanders family touched down in Gulfport, Miss.

But instead of sleeping in, the Harrison Central star took a one-hour nap and headed to school -- and even practiced with the team afterwards.

"He hates missing school," said Bettie Sanders, Byron's mother.

And sleep was the last thing on Sanders' mind after an exciting weekend in Chapel Hill.

"I am very excited to be part of the rich tradition of North Carolina basketball," Sanders told IC on Tuesday night. "And my family and friends are almost as excited as I am."

"We loved it -- totally loved it," Bettie Sanders said emphatically. "It is a beautiful place. The people are beautiful, the town was beautiful. It was just beautiful, everything about it."

Sanders added, "I didn't expect Chapel Hill to be so beautiful."

The official visit included attending Saturday's Tar Heel loss to Virginia at the Smith Center and meetings with the coaches and academic officials.

"The support of the fans even though the team was losing was amazing," Sanders said. "I really liked Coach Doherty and his staff. The academic staff too -- I liked them as well."

Sanders actually already knew one of the Carolina players.

"I was one of the roommates of Melvin Scott in a camp in San Diego during my freshmen year," he said.

During his conversations with the Tar Heel coaches over the weekend, Sanders got a good feel for what the staff expects of him and how they forecast his role with the program.

"Coach Doherty and the staff told me that my role with the team would be as a power forward and then later on as a forward," he said. "And they said if I work really hard I will get plenty playing time."

Before getting to Chapel Hill, though, Sanders will work to bulk up his 6-9, 215-pound frame.

"Some of the things the staff wants me to work on is strength, and also my weight," he said. "I plan to be at 230 pounds when I get there."

Inside Carolina Top Stories