My Blue Heaven – Day 1
So I told you about a month ago about our vacation to OBX taking a quick detour through Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Early this morning we pushed off from Columbus and set our GPS for The Dean Smith Center (Home of the Tar Heel Basketball Team) on the campus of the University of North Carolina. Thanks to a connection from my good friend “D-Rich”, we had an appointment with a member of the staff on the Tar Heel Basketball team. Our goal was to get here was quickly as possible.
Quick note, in order to protect the privacy of the people and our contact at UNC, I am not going to post any pictures or use our contacts name. The last thing I would like to do is thank this man for his time today by plastering pictures and his name on the web. If you’re interested in seeing the pictures, let me know. Now back to my recap…
Before we arrived on campus we found out that they were holding high school graduation ceremony on the floor of the Dean Dome so we couldn’t actually see the court. What we got was even better. We met up with our contact with no expectations whatsoever. Really just wanted to get in and get a few pictures of the banners and jerseys in the rafters. What we got was a behind the scenes tour of most of the facility! I still cannot believe the amount of former and current players that were in the building. Check this out.
We started off in the practice gym and the first person we saw was former point guard Quentin Thomas working out. We said hello to “Q” and made our way to the weight room. There are pictures every where of former players. I passed one of former Tar Heel and current Cleveland Cavalier Jawad Williams. I was telling our friend about seeing him in Columbus while in the weight room of the arena there before a Cavs game. He said “you know, he’s here today”. Next thing I know, he opens the players room and there sits none other than Jawad Williams! We share a laugh about seeing one another AGAIN and that I am NOT stalking him (even though we are both from C-Town). He is also playing a video game with none other than current Tar Heel stud Ed Davis (at this point, I am beaming).
Also in the players room are former Tar Heel Mike Copeland (who we would spend time with again later) and a few other guys I didn’t recognize. We then head into the locker room. It’s all cleared out but the players name plates are still above thier lockers. I took pictures of all 3 of my kids taking turns sitting in Tyler Hansbrough’s locker chair. Our friend says “You know, he was here earlier today. He had to leave to do a Jim Rome interview at his moms house”! Ugh. Missed him by that much. We see more pictures and more guys he says were there earlier in the day (Sean May, Marvin Williams). Crazy. We eventually get onto the floor and take some pictures of the jerseys and banners.
By now I have had my fill, but we’re not quite done yet. We make our way with him into the office area. Once inside we see all of the hardware. The Championship trophies, the nets from Detroit and Tyler Hansbrough’s Player of the Year trophy (I got pictures of them all with “The Boy”). We cap it all off by stepping into Roy Williams office. Roy was not in but it was an incredible moment. Lots and lots of pictures. Great memories.
Finally, before we say goodbye, we are standing outside and current Tar Heel Larry Drew II comes walking up. He shakes all of our hands, introduces himself and we chat for a few. I kindly ask him if I can get a picture of him and “The Boy” and he kindly accepts. From there the family and I got some dinner, went over to Duke and took some fun pictures at Cameron Indoor and headed over to Franklin Street for ice cream. We also grabbed a few pictures of the famous well. Incredible day. My bucket list just got completely crossed off today! What a memory.
Tomorrow I’m going for an early morning run to catch some more sites and then “The Boy” and I are hitting the Tar Heel Museum. After that we’re gonna grab some championship gear from Franklin Street and head to OBX. It is safe to say that nothing else we do on vacation will compare with the first 24 hours. I love this place.