Forward goes home to California because of family illness

Updated: January 2, 2008, 3:35 PM ET
Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina Tar Heels sophomore Alex Stepheson has returned home to California because of an illness in the family and will miss the Tar Heels' game against Kent State on Wednesday night.

Stepheson, a 6-9 reserve forward from Los Angeles, is averaging 3.5 points and 4.8 rebounds for the top-ranked Tar Heels (13-0).

"We are not certain when he will be able to return," coach Roy Williams said in a statement Wednesday. "Of course, at this time our thoughts and prayers are with Alex and his family."

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