When Megan Buckland suffered an ACL injury in mid-March, the 6-foot combo guard from Bishop McGuinness in High Point, N.C., worried that her recruiting suitors might be scared away.
They weren't. In fact, North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell was already so impressed with Buckland that she offered her a scholarship and on Wednesday night Buckland accepted that offer, a process she described as "a dream becoming a reality."
"My whole life, I was born and raised a Carolina fan," said Buckland, the No. 46 player in the ESPN HoopGurlz Super 60. "It was my dream school and you can't let your dreams pass you by."
Buckland chose the Tar Heels over North Carolina State and Florida State.
It has been a trying offseason for Buckland. After suffering the injury in the championship game -- which Bishop McGuinness won without Buckland, who was named most outstanding player -- Buckland had surgery and now spends her days rehabbing. She hopes to be back by the beginning of school ball on Nov. 1 and according to her coach, Brian Robinson, is already ahead of schedule.
Robinson admits that he also worried interest would drop off when schools heard Buckland was hurt, but was confident she had already done what she needed to get attention.
"Honestly that's always the first though -- are people gonna drop off because of (the injury)?" Robinson said. "But Megan had already proved herself through USA Basketball and other events and her high school team. She only knows how to play one way: Hard. That's what attracted schools to her."
Buckland, who was an alternate for the U16 team last summer and will miss this year's tryouts as she rehabs, said picking UNC came with another perk -- she doesn't have to do any shopping.
"That made it easier," she laughed, "I didn't have to buy all new apparel."
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Lindsay Schnell is a staff writer for HoopGurlz.com. A graduate of Oregon State University, she has been involved in the Oregon girls' basketball community for most her life as a player, high school coach, writer and fan. She also has been regular contributor to The Oregonian and won several awards for her writing. She can be reached at email@example.com.