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Dean Smith

Michael Jordan Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama

UNC basketball legend and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on Tuesday at the White House. Jordan was one of 21 recipients honored in the nation’s capitol, along with fellow basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and longtime voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers Vin Scully. Obama celebrated Jordan for lifting the sport of basketball globally but said there’s more to the legendary Tar Heel. “MJ is still more than those moments, more than just the best player on the two greatest teams of all time – the Dream...

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Michael Jordan to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

UNC basketball legend and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is one of 21 individuals who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. The White House named the recipients on Wednesday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have “made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Jordan is joining his former head coach at UNC Dean Smith, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 by President...

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Final Four Pits Roy Williams Against His Friends

When UNC takes the floor in Houston on Saturday for its Final Four matchup with Syracuse, head coach Roy Williams will do his best to avoid looking at the opposing sideline—where his good friend Jim Boeheim will be coaching against him. Why will he be doing that? Because this is just the latest in a series of emotional battles Williams has had matching up with those he’s closest to. “I think it’s always difficult to play a friend,” Williams said at his press conference on Tuesday. “I’ve adopted something I sorta like—I try to never look at the other...

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Chansky’s Notebook: March 17 Memories

The Tar Heels have played 13 games on St. Patty’s Day. Tonight, they will play for the 14th time on St. Patrick’s Day, the global holiday to honor the patron saint of Ireland that has since turned into a celebration of dancing, eating and drinking, mostly drinking. Roy Williams is 2-0 on St. Patty’s day at UNC, beating Murray State in the 2006 NCAA Tournament and Michigan State the next year in the game that Tyler Hansbrough played with a broken nose and mask that he ripped off in the second half. Bill Guthridge was 1-0 on March 17,...

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Michael Jordan Turn 53 on Carolina-Duke Day

Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all-time, turns 53 on Wednesday. That is the same day that Jordan’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina, takes on the Duke Blue Devils.  This is the first time Carolina and Duke have met on Jordan’s birthday. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski recruited Jordan.  Jordan considered several schools including Duke, South Carolina, Virginia and Syracuse. After Michael Jordan told Coach Krzyzewski that he was no longer considering Duke, the Blue Devils coach sent the letter you see above. It reads: “Dear Mike:   I am sorry to hear that you no longer have...

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Remembering Dean Smith One Year Later

Sunday marked one year since the death of legendary Tar Heel basketball coach Dean Smith. Word began to spread early the morning of Sunday, February 8, 2015, that the Coach Smith had passed away late the night before. Memorials poured in over the next few days as many people who had varying levels of interaction with Coach Smith remembered the man responsible for so many successes on and off the court. Chapelboro’s Art Chansky spoke with WCHL’s Blake Hodge to reflect on the one-year anniversary of the passing of a legend....

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Art’s Angle: Happy Birthday, Dean Dome

N.C. State’s visit marks the 30th birthday of the Dean Smith Center, which opened on the third Saturday in January, 1986, against Duke in what felt like an NCAA Tournament game. Both teams were undefeated – UNC 17-0 and ranked No. 1, Duke 16-0 and No. 3 – and playing on the court for the first time; it was nationally televised and each of the then 21,444 light blue seats was filled for tip-off. The Blue Devils’ Mark Alarie scored the first basket in what had already been dubbed the “Dean Dome,” and Warren Martin made the first hoop...

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John Thompson Wins Dean Smith Award

Over 40 years after originally telling one of his high school players that he didn’t want him to go to North Carolina, John Thompson is the first recipient of the award that bares the name of his good friend Dean Smith. The Dean Smith Award, was presented to him Tuesday night by the United States Basketball Writers Association. “John Thompson was very much in the Dean Smith line of making an impact in his player’s lives off the court,” USBWA president Pat Forde said. “He just seemed like the perfect first winner of this award.” Before Thompson coached Georgetown...

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Chansky’s Notebook: Long But Loving

The inaugural Dean Smith Award dinner was a bit long but very loving. The Carolina Club ballroom was packed, every table and nearly every seat sold out. And while it went on so long that Roy Williams had to buy up the last live auction prize – a foursome at Pinehurst No. 2 – so his players in attendance could get to bed, the first Dean Smith Award was given and received a success of stories. Master of Ceremonies, former coach and current TV analyst Bill Raftery got laughter when he poked fun at Jay Bilas and Dookie Vitale,...

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Dean Smith and Bill Thorpe Added to Social Justice Memorial

Under a perfectly Carolina blue sky on Sunday, the UNC Gospel Choir sang to a crowd of citizens, community leaders and local elected officials gathered at Peace and Justice Plaza where two new names were being added to the granite stone that celebrates local leaders for their work on social justice issues. Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt alluded to some of the history of the location. “With community support, we believed it was appropriate to honor some significant members of our community members in this space,” he says. “Members who have participated in the demonstrations and the speak outs, who have...

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