In some ways, the four-team men’s basketball “jamboree” held at the Dean Smith Center on Sunday afternoon was like a friendly family reunion.
Hosted by UNC, the event was designed to raise money for the NC Disaster Relief Fund in wake of the damage done to the state by Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016.
Joining the Tar Heels at the Dean Dome were the teams from East Carolina, UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Greensboro–each of which have a head coach with strong ties to both Roy Williams and UNC.
East Carolina head coach Jeff Lebo was a standout guard in Chapel Hill from 1985-89. Wes Miller, who now leads UNC-Greensboro, played for Williams from 2004-07. C.B. McGrath, in his first season as head coach at UNC-Wilmington, played for Williams at Kansas and then served as an assistant under him at UNC each year since 2003.
The teams played a series of round-robin scrimmages lasting approximately 13 minutes apiece.
UNC and UNC-Wilmington each posted 2-1 records on the day, with the results not doing much in terms of projecting future success.
The Tar Heels lost their second scrimmage to UNC-Greensboro 32-24, as the Spartans hit seven three-pointers in the 13-minute game. Meanwhile, UNC gave significant playing time to a number of young players–including unheralded freshman forward Walker Miller, the brother of Wes Miller.
Prior to the loss, UNC held off East Carolina 21-20 behind five points apiece from graduate transfer Cam Johnson and freshman guard Andrew Platek.
Williams then defeated his former assistant, McGrath, when the Tar Heels ran off with a 38-22 victory over UNC-Wilmington–sinking five of six three-pointers in the process.
Roughly 4,000 fans turned out for the jamboree, including North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
Cooper, who previously said the damages from Hurricane Matthew totaled around $4.8 billion and included 100,000 homes damaged or destroyed, watched from behind the UNC bench next to former Tar Heel legend Phil Ford.
A final tally of funds raised won’t be available until later this week, according to UNC spokesman Steve Kirschner.
Cover photo via Todd Melet