UNC: leading scorer Gray granted release to pursue transfer

North Carolina guard Allisha Gray (15) plays in an NCAA college basketball game between Pittsburgh and North Carolina on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) North Carolina says it has granted a release for leading scorer Allisha Gray to pursue a transfer.

The school said in a release Tuesday that Gray can speak with other schools ''about the possibility'' of transferring, though Sylvia Hatchell said in a statement that she still hoped to continue coaching Gray at UNC.

''I love Allisha Gray and all the wonderful things she brings to our program,'' Hatchell said. ''My hope is that she makes a decision that is best for her and her family.''

The 6-foot sophomore wing averaged 15.8 points and 7.6 rebounds, making the all-Atlantic Coast Conference first team as the Tar Heels reached the NCAA Sweet 16.

If Gray departs, she would be the third transfer from a four-player recruiting class ranked No. 1 nationally in 2013. Star Diamond DeShields transferred to Tennessee after leading UNC to an NCAA regional final as a freshman. Guard Jessica Washington said last month she is also leaving.

That would leave all-ACC center Stephanie Mavunga as the only member of that class still with the Tar Heels.

The announcement comes about a month after the NCAA charged UNC with five violations connected to the school's long-running academic fraud scandal, including one charge focused on a women's basketball adviser providing improper academic assistance.

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