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UNC women's basketball forward Alyssa Ustby announces return for fifth season


UNC senior guard/forward Alyssa Ustby (1) smiles during the first round game of the Women’s NCAA tournament against Michigan State in the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina on Friday, March 22, 2024. UNC won with a score of 59-56.

UNC women's basketball senior forward Alyssa Ustby announced via Instagram on Friday evening that she will return for her fifth and final season.

"I'm coming back with one singular purpose," she said in her announcement video. "Today — and every day — I am completely focused on doing everything required to leave Chapel Hill in 2025 as someone you're proud of, as someone you remember and as a winner."

The 6-foot-1 forward has been an instrumental piece for the Tar Heels the last four seasons, averaging 12.2 points and 8.2 rebounds. Ustby headlined head coach Courtney Banghart's first recruiting class in Chapel Hill alongside Deja Kelly and Kennedy Todd-Williams — both of whom have since entered the transfer portal.

UNC senior guard/forward Alyssa Ustby (1) reaches for the ball during the second round game of the Women’s NCAA tournament against the University of South Carolina in the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina on Sunday, March 24, 2024.

This past season, the Rochester, Minn., native became the first Tar Heel in program history to record a triple-double, notching 16 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists on Jan. 4 against Syracuse. Ustby averaged a double-double in ACC play and was named a top-5 candidate for the Cheryl Miller Award, given to the country's best small forward.

Ustby had a strong senior campaign, earning Second Team All-ACC honors — her third straight year being named to an all-conference team. The versatile forward came up big with 16 points and 17 rebounds in UNC's 59-56 win over No. 9-seeded Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.


@dthsports |

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Daniel Wei

Daniel Wei is a 2023-24 assistant sports editor at The Daily Tar Heel. He has previously served as a senior writer. Daniel is a junior pursuing a double major in business administration and economics.