Deja Kelly confirms she will not return to Chapel Hill

What Deja Kelly did for the UNC women’s basketball program over the last four years was nothing short of amazing.

The Tar Heels made the NCAA Tournament in each season and their furthest run was to the 2022 Sweet 16. Kelly was a key each year, averaging double-digit point totals and leading North Carolina in scoring.

Kelly entered the transfer portal this offseason although a glimmer of hope remained that she would return to UNC.

Those possible rumors of a return were officially shot down on Friday, May 3, as Kelly posted a heartfelt message to her X (formerly Twitter) account.

We saw Seth Trimble do something similar with the UNC men’s basketball team, though he withdrew his name from the portal and will be playing his third season in Chapel Hill.

If you had asked me a month ago about Kelly’s decision to not return, I would have thought the UNC women’s team had a much different outlook. Several players entered the transfer portal. Luckily for the Tar Heels, they were all reserves.

North Carolina is projected to have a deep roster, though, headlined by the return of star forward Alyssa Ustby. Every other starter is expected back, with Lexi Donarski also electing to use her final year of eligibility in Chapel Hill.

It’s going to be weird not seeing Kelly in Carolina Blue next season, but I wish her luck in her future.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire