By R.L. Bynum
Forward Destiny Adams made big strides from her freshman to sophomore seasons at North Carolina, but announced on social media Wednesday night that she is entering the transfer portal.
Known for her tenacious defense, length and ability to create havoc for opposing offenses, the 6–3 Adams, a 2021 McDonald’s All-American, was second on the team in both steals (50) and blocks (26). Even though she only averaged 17.2 minutes per game, she was 15th in the ACC in steals and 18th in the league in blocks. Her aggressive play on defense often got into foul trouble.
“I would like to thank the coaching staff and all of my teammates for supporting and encouraging me as a player,” Adams said in an Instagram post. “I will truly miss the Tar Heel fans and community as they have shown me nothing but love. After talks with my family, I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal. I will forever cherish all of my experiences and memories made in Chapel Hill.”
Adams was the New Jersey Girls Basketball Player of the Year after her senior season at Manchester Township and ESPN ranked her No. 20 in the Class of 2021. She played in all 33 games this past season, starting four times, averaging 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. As a freshman, she averaged 3.0 points and 2.6 rebounds.
Adams was part of a four-player freshman class, with all four ranked by ESPN in the top 20 of the Class of 2021, but only No. 9 Teonni Key and No. 17 Kayla McPherson remain. Key and McPherson missed all of the 2021–22 season and part of last season with knee injuries.
Morasha Wiggins, ranked No. 18, transferred after her freshman season to Arizona State but missed the entire season after having knee surgery before the season. Wiggins had 32 points and 30 rebounds in 181 minutes as a freshman at UNC.
This past season, Adams scored a career-high 23 points on Nov. 16 in the 93–25 home win over South Carolina State. She pulled down a career-high nine rebounds on Jan. 15 in a 56–47 home win against N.C. State and got a career-high six steals on Feb. 12 in a 73–55 home victory against Boston College.
After scoring nine points in UNC’s 68–58 victory over Clemson in the second round of the ACC Tournament, she was scoreless in 53 minutes over the last three games, fouling out of Monday’s season-ending 71–69 loss at Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Kelly, Ustby finalists for WBCA honor
UNC juniors Deja Kelly and Alyssa Usbty, both first-team All-ACC picks, are two of 12 region finalists for WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America honors, which will be announced later this month. Kelly earned WBCA All-America honorable mention last season.
Kelly was the leading scorer (16.5 points per game) and Ustby the leading rebounder (8.3 per game) for the Tar Heels this season.
Here is Carolina’s projected roster with their class for next season listed.
|RS Soph.||11||Kayla McPherson||PG||5–8|
|RS Soph.||13||Teonni Key||F||6–4|
|Sophomore||24||Indya Nivar (Stanford)||G||5–10|
|Senior||20||Lexi Donarski (Iowa State)||G||6–0|
|Junior||5||Maria Gakdeng (Boston College)||C||6–3|
|ESPN rank||No.||Incoming freshmen||Pos.||Height|
|30th||10||Reniya Kelly (4 star; Alabama POY)||PG||5–7|
|4||Laila Hull (Indiana POY)||W||6–1|
|90th||22||Rylee Grays (4 star Alabama POY)||F||6–3|
|4th||21||Ciera Toomey (5 star)||F||6–4|
|15||Sydney Barker (walk-on)||PG||5–7|
|ESPN rank||Class of 2024|
|26th||Blanca Thomas (5 star)||C||6–5|
|ESPN rank||Class of 2025|
|20th||Lanie Grant (5 star)||G||5–9|
|College careers over||Pos.||Height|
|Kennedy Todd-Williams (Ole Miss)||W||6–0|
|Destiny Adams (Rutgers)||F||6–3|
Photos courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications