Amidst a season of turmoil and injuries for North Carolina's basketball team, Carolina fans and players took a trip into the past Friday night at the Dean E. Smith Center honoring 100 years of Tar Heel Basketball. The event was appropriately titled Celebration of Century , because that's what was done, celebrating.
Welcoming back a few players dating back to 1955 and before that included Buddy Clark. Throw in Melvin Scott from the 2005 National Championship team, and you've got quite a number of years between the two.
The night began by introducing each player, all donned in light blue of course, and the voice of the Tar Heels, Woody Durham, telling a little bit about who each player was and what they were most remembered for while playing for UNC. Players receiving the loudest cheer were the likes of Eric Montross, Walter Davis, Bobby Jones, and Phil Ford. No cheer was louder than when legendary head coach Dean Smith was honored at halftime. A five minute standing ovation was followed as each of the players were allowed to hug and thank Coach Smith for who he was and what he meant to each Tar Heel.
The majority of the returning players could still hold their own on the court and they provided fans with an entertaining game that could've easily went to overtime. Even current head coach Roy Williams said he was going to suggest a two minute overtime to settle things if it had come to that point. The Blue Team pulled out a 71-70 win. But this was certainly no all-star scrimmage. The passion and desire to win was still instilled in many of the program's past players and several bodies hit the hard court to come up with a loose ball, much to the delight of the Tar Heel faithful.
During the game, where TV timeouts would normally take place, video montages were played recounting the beginning of Carolina's first varsity basketball team back in 1910 to the current group of Tar Heels in 2010. The in between is 100 years of glorious Tar Heel tradition, which few other programs can match.
The night concluded with a little Carolina fast break, fitting to say the least, reminding all of us why we love Carolina Basketball.
Here's to another 100 years.