Tar Heels women’s hoops signs three recruits

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The North Carolina Tar Heels signed three to National Letters of Intent as announced by head coach Sylvia Hatchell on Wednesday.

The three members of the class of 2019 are Destinee Walker of Ocoee, Fla., Stephanie Watts of Wesley Chapel, N.C., and Eternati Willock of Scarborough, Ontario.

The trio are five-star rated and touted as the No. 6 class in the nation according to espnW.

“I’m very pleased to have three outstanding young ladies join the Tar Heel family today,” Hatchell said.

”They are very skilled, high IQ basketball players that conduct themselves in a first class manner. They will be great ambassadors for our wonderful University.”

Destinee Walker – Ocoee, Fla.

Walker, who attends Lake Highland Prep in Orlando, is a five-foot-nine-inch guard that is ranked a consensus top-20 prospect in her class.

She won a gold medal with Team USA at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Despite being the youngest player on the squad, Walker averaged 8.8 points, earning her respect as a deadly shooter, making 49 percent of her shots as the team went a perfect 5-0.

A team captain at Lake Highland since her freshman year, Walker has increased her scoring output each season, averaging 16.8 points as a freshman, 19.5 points as a sophomore and 25.0 points as a junior, when she was named Florida Class 4A Player of the Year.

Lake Highland has reached the regional semifinals all three years with Walker on the team. Last season, Walker had a career-high 38 points in the district final victory.

She begins her senior season only 10 points shy of 2,000 in her high school career.

“Destinee is the closest player that I have seen to the great Teresa Edwards,” Hatchell said.

“Destinee is a pure shooter. She will impact the game both offensively and defensively, she can finish at the rim with contact and is great at reading defenses and beating people off the dribble.”

Stephanie Watts – Wesley Chapel, N.C.

Watts, who attends Weddington High School, is a five-foot-11-inch guard that was named the 2014 North Carolina District 9 Player of the Year and an all-state selection by the North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association and NCPreps.

She averaged 21.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 5.3 steals and 4.6 assists per game as a junior last season.

Watts is the only player in North Carolina girls’ basketball history to have two quadruple-doubles in her high school career.

She did it the first time as a sophomore and then turned the trick again as a junior with 25 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and 10 steals against Central Academy on Dec. 3, 2013.

An outstanding student-athlete with a 3.5 grade-point-average, Watts set a Union County record as a sophomore by scoring 50 points against Cuthbertson on Nov. 30, 2012.

She holds Weddington school records for career points (1,665) and three pointers (218), and single-season records for points (609), rebounds (276) and blocks (85).

“Stephanie Watts is a versatile combo guard that can score, handle the ball, slash to the hoop and play tenacious defense,” Hatchell said.

“She had a couple of games last season where she scored 50 points and I’m a firm believer that great shooting cures a multitude of sins.”

Eternati Willock – Scarborough, Ontario

Willock, who attends St. John Paul II Catholic School, is a six-foot-four-inch power forward that has been a member of Team Canada for three seasons.

She represented her country at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship.

Willock also competed at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Mexico, assisting Canada in winning the silver medal, and also played that year for Team Canada at the U17 FIBA 3×3 in Indonesia.

She currently averages 18.2 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals for St. John Paul II.

Her team will be playing for the league championship and will then compete in the Provincial Championships Nov. 21-23.

“Eternati is long and athletic and has the ability to fit our up-tempo style of play,” Hatchell said.

“She handles the ball well, runs the floor like a guard, can step out and shoot the three and is also a force in the paint as a defensive stopper.”