Former UNC Basketball star Leaky Black to make first career NBA start

The UNC basketball program is seeing former players have success in the NBA as Leaky Black is set to make his first career start for the Charlotte Hornets.
Miami v North Carolina
Miami v North Carolina / Peyton Williams/GettyImages

The UNC basketball program has seen many former Tar Heels become successful in the NBA.

They have had greats such as Michael Jordan, James Worthy, and Phil Ford, and young guys like Coby White, Cole Anthony, and now Leaky Black.

Black signed with the Charlotte Hornets after going undrafted in the 2023 NBA Draft. He's seen his minutes increase off of the bench lately and will make his first career start against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Leaky Black was inserted into the starting lineup prior to tonight's matchup due to the injury to Lamelo Ball. Black started this season with the Hornets G-League affiliate Greensboro Swarm and made his NBA debut on November 9, 2023. He's averaging around 18 minutes played per game in February after not seeing the floor much to start the season. Black scored a career-high 11 points in a 126-106 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 2.

The most impressive game of his career came on January 22 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota forward Karl Anthony-Towns torched the Hornets for 62 points, but it was two Leaky Black free throws that stole the show and won the game for Charlotte.

Black only played five minutes against Minnesota but shot 2/3 from the field, including 1/1 from three and 2/2 from the free throw line. He also grabbed three rebounds and blocked a shot, earning him a plus/minus of +10 which was the third highest for Charlotte that night behind Lamelo Ball and Brandon Miller.

Black played for the UNC basketball program from 2018-2023. The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 5.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.2 per game in his career. Typically known for his defense, Black increased his scoring to around seven points per game last season for the Tar Heels. He also shot 33% from three and 70% from the free throw line.

Black joins former teammates Coby White, Cam Johnson and Nassir Little as players from North Carolina that make a significant impact at the next level. It will be interesting to see when Leaky Black's game takes the next step like some former teammates recently did.

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