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CHAPEL HILL, NC – More than 1,000 career games and 35 seasons of coaching makes UNC Women’s Basketball head coach Sylvia Hatchell one of the most experienced educators on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus

“One of the things I’ve learned is that winning is better when you’ve had to overcome some challenges along the way. I can’t think of a group that helps people rebound from cancer – one of life’s big challenges – better than UNC Lineberger and the N.C. Cancer Hospital,” said Hatchell.

“It makes me so happy to support what our UNC doctors and staff are doing for kids and I hope that kids who use the classroom will feel a connection to everyone in the Tar Heel family who is pulling for their recovery.”

“Taking care of children with cancer is a true multidisciplinary effort and the Hospital School at UNC is an integral part of the care of our patients. To support this effort, the school and our families, I can’t imagine a better room to be named in recognition of a person as synonymous with UNC as Coach Hatchell. I am deeply appreciative of her support of young people who – despite the challenge of cancer – are trying to achieve their goals,” said Stuart Gold, MD, chief of the division of pediatric oncology.

“The pediatric hematology-oncology team’s commitment to quality care for the ‘whole child’ from diagnosis through survival into adulthood is unsurpassed,” said Ellen Holody, one of the Hospital School teachers who works with the program.

“Creating what may be the only classroom of its type in the country in a pediatric cancer clinic is just one example of how the team tries to maintain normalcy during a difficult time in the lives of our patients. We are very grateful for Coach Hatchell’s support of this effort.”

Hatchell is a long-time supporter of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her creative fundraising ideas, such as donating the proceeds from the blueberry patch at her western N.C. mountain cabin to the cancer center, have been covered by the national media.

Since coming to Chapel Hill in 1986, Hatchell has posted a record of 559-214 and forged a tradition of excellence at Carolina. Under her direction, the Tar Heels have won a national championship and eight ACC titles, compiled six 30-win seasons and claimed five ACC Player of the Year and five ACC Rookie of the Year honors.

Hatchell earned a B.S. degree in physical education and health from Carson-Newman in 1974. While at Carson-Newman, in addition to playing basketball and volleyball, Hatchell coached the Talbott School girls’ basketball team to a winning season and a trip to the playoffs. She then spent a year coaching the junior varsity women’s team and earning a master’s degree at the University of Tennessee.

Coach Hatchell is also involved with the Jessica Breland Comeback Kids Fund to benefit pediatric oncology. You can make a gift to this fund through UNC Lineberger’s online donation form. (In the designation box, mark Pediatric Oncology and in the comments box note that your gift should be designated to the Comeback Kids Fund.)