Joining Watts and the Tar Heel hoop squad next year is another three-point ringer in the name of Leah Church. She may stand only 5 foot, 8 inches tall, but her reputation as a three-point sniper has gained traction throughout the basketball world.
A home-schooled athlete that competes for Forest Trail Academy in Kernersville, N.C., Church made a name for herself when her shooting videos went viral on YouTube after breaking records for most three’s in a minute with 32, smashing the previous record of 27. Oh by the way, she made 55 in a row!
Perhaps even more remarkable, Church once made 120 3-pointers in a five-minute stretch. Though it was 16 shy of a world record, her performance gained traction on a variety of media platforms, including ESPN, Bleacher Report, Fox Sports, CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated to name a few.
Hailing from Purlear, North Carolina, Church signed a National Letter of Intent this past November to play for North Carolina beginning in the fall of 2017. She will join an already prolific shooting group that should give UNC’s opponents plenty of sleepless nights over the next couple years.
Her final season at Forest Trail, a team led by coach Delaney Rudd and chocked full of Division I signees, has enjoyed great success thus far, and hopes for more as the calendar has flipped to 2017.
Church made 76 three-pointers in her first 18 games, a mere 4.2 conversions per game. To compare, Watts averages 3.9 triples a game to lead the ACC.
As the team captain and leading scorer (17 ppg), Church has already led Forest Trail to a victory over a top-10 ranked Hamilton Heights (Tenn.) club in the championship of the Title IX Classic. She scored a game-high 12 points (4 3-pointers of course) in the title game and was named to an all-tournament team that took in to account over 500 players from 48 competing teams.
Church also added to her trophy case with MVP honors at the She Got Game Classic in Washington, D.C.
Forest Trail is currently hovering around the top-25 line in some high school power rankings. Their next big test is coming up Jan. 14 against nationally-ranked Monacan (Va.) High School, who is led by Connecticut signee Megan Walker, ESPN’s #1 rated player in the class.