Two years ago, Courtney Banghart had to cut ties with Indya Nivar, but it wasn’t the end of their relationship.
Nivar, an Apex native, was heavily recruited by the UNC women's basketball head coach in high school. However, the guard ultimately chose to play basketball at Stanford, where she spent her first year.
Due to NCAA tampering rules, Banghart couldn't keep in touch with Nivar. But when she hit the transfer portal after just one year in California, North Carolina was the first school to contact her.
“I recruited [Nivar and transfer Maria Gakdeng] the first time, so I have a pretty good sense of who they are, but then they left,” Banghart said. “So then you literally break up and you’re like, ‘Alright, see you never.’ And then here they are.”
Entering her sophomore season and first at UNC, Nivar hopes to make a big jump in production this year in a new environment that's closer to home.
Welcomed with open arms
Out of high school, Nivar was one of the highest-ranked recruits in the 2022 class. After a year at Stanford — where she said she didn’t grow enough — it was time for a change.
When she hit the portal, UNC was at the top of her list and she hoped the Tar Heels would give her a call.
Since coming to North Carolina, Nivar has been welcomed with open arms by the team and they are already pushing her. According to her, the approach to coaching at UNC is different from Stanford — Banghart is very intentional and sets goals for each practice — something that Nivar has embraced.