UNC women’s basketball head coach Courtney Banghart announced on Tuesday that first-years Laila Hull and Ciera Toomey will redshirt for the 2023-2024 season.
Hull and Toomey will continue rehabilitating high school injuries, with both players having undergone surgery over the summer. By taking a redshirt year, each will retain four full years of playing time.
“When any player that you are excited to coach redshirts, there is obviously an element of disappointment as their process is a bit delayed,” Banghart said in a statement sent out by UNC Athletic Communications. “But this decision also means that they get a year to rehab, build strength, and better prepare for the collegiate game, so in many ways it’s a win.”
Toomey, a forward from Dunmore, Pa., announced her commitment to North Carolina via Instagram on Apr. 11, 2022. Toomey was ranked as high as No. 3 among the players in the 2023 class but missed most of her senior year after tearing her ACL in March 2022. She was named Pennsylvania’s Miss Basketball after returning to help Dunmore to the 2023 state title.
Hull, a wing from Zionsville, Ind., announced her commitment to UNC via Instagram on Oct. 25, 2022. She was Indiana’s Miss Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year in 2023, averaging 22.4 points per game as a senior and finishing her high school career as Zionsville High’s all-time scoring leader.
While the statement didn't specify what Hull's injury was, she dealt with a nagging shoulder injury during her senior season.
“I’ve already been really inspired by the work ethic and dedication of both Ciera and Laila and am thrilled with their decision to get four full years with us on the court,” Banghart said. “I know we will continue to get their best as they work hard to return even stronger.”
The Tar Heels, who have a full roster of 15 players, open the season on Nov. 8 with a home game against Gardner-Webb.