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Hamby earns first-team All-ACC honors, first Demon Deacon since 1996

Dearica Hamby becomes just the third Demon Deacon in history to earn first-team All-ACC honors.

Dearica Hamby drives to the basket against N.C. State's Kody Burke
Dearica Hamby drives to the basket against N.C. State's Kody Burke
Dana Warren

Wake Forest junior forward Dearica Hamby became just the third Demon Deacon player in history to earn a spot on the All-ACC first team, as announced by the conference on Tuesday. Hamby joins her coach, Jen Hoover (1991), and Tracy Connor (1996) as the only Deacs to win a spot on the first team. Hamby finished the regular season Sunday as the conference's leader in scoring (629 points, 21.7/g) and rebounding (316, 10.9/g) as the Deacs head to Greensboro for the conference tournament.

"I’m really proud of Dearica and the consistency she has brought to our program this season," Hoover said. "The fact that she leads the ACC, the top conference in the country, in scoring and rebounding speaks volumes to the how hard she has worked. She faces double and triple-teams on a regular basis and is still able to produce. It’s really good to see her rewarded for her hard work."

Hamby's breakout seeded followed a sophomore campaign where she averaged 10.6 points per game (third on the team) and grabbed 199 rebounds. However, she was content to stay in the shadows on a veteran squad led by senior Lakevia Boykin. Her role on the team changed dramatically with the departure of five seniors, as Hoover counted on both Hamby and senior Chelsea Douglas to provide the bulk of the scoring as well as lead a markedly younger team into the expanded ACC.

Wake Forest will open tournament play Wednesday as the No. 11 seed  against fourteenth-seeded Pittsbugh (6:30 p.m., RSN). The Deacons won their only meeting with Pittsburgh back on February 9, coming back to beat the Panthers 74-70 after digging themselves a 17-point first-half deficit. The winner of Wedneday's contest will face six-seeded North Carolina in the 8:00 p.m. game on Thursday.

Hamby is in elite company on the All-ACC Team, joining the likes of Maryland's Alyssa Thomas, Duke's Elizabeth Williams and Tricia Liston, and State's Markeisha Gatling. You can read the full release here.