First Person

First Person: Dealing With Duke

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Trying to sell a house that a toddler lives in can provide a challenge. About 10 days ago, we were cleaning up our house in preparation for a showing the following day. I had some stuff to haul down to the basement for storage and I had set the items on top of the steps leading down. After taking the first load down, I was about to make my way back up the stairs until I looked up and was met with my son’s beaming face at the top.  In his hand, he held a small can of paint.   In our house, we play a game that consists of Brady throwing balls down the stairs and us thro…

First Person: Happy Birthday, Coach Smith

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As you have probably heard by now, thanks to social media, today is Coach Dean Smith’s 82nd birthday. Most Carolina fans have a favorite Coach Smith memory they like to share. Earlier today, we asked our Facebook followers about their favorite Coach Smith memory. Below are a few responses. If you have not left your favorite please visit our Facebook page and share your memory. William Kesler: Getting to meet him at Carolina Basketball Camp. Greg Tilley: Standing at baggage claim at RDU, Coach Smith walks up as I'm ending a phone call. He stands there smiles and says hello. He l…

Walston: Hoop Dreams

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Like many, many kids raised in North Carolina, I had basketball dreams. I’d spend hours shooting baskets in the driveway, talking to myself out loud as if Woody Durham were on the call. Always, we trailed Duke by five or so with seconds to go. I always hit a three to cut the lead, then I always stole the ball and nailed another one for the win. If I didn’t make it, I’d been fouled. If I didn’t make all the free throws, I tipped in a shot at the buzzer. But Carolina always won. Always.Growing up, there was no question where I was going to attend college. Mom an…

Lucas: Middle East Conflict

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As a Green Beret, Rusty Cotterman is accustomed to following orders. He’s served three tours for the United States in Afghanistan, where he’s the intelligence officer for his 12-man unit. But there is one request even a Green Beret can’t fulfill: the order to wear a Duke shirt. The captain of Cotterman’s unit, Capt. Will Wright, is (regrettably) a Duke fan. Wright recently received a shipment of Duke shirts, and thought it would be a nice gesture to take a photo with the entire unit wearing the shirts as part of a thank-you note to the senders. He passed the s…

First Person: Family Tradition

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Flashback to 1997---I attended my first MLB game in the big city, a Mets game at Shea Stadium. The afternoon seemed to go on forever. How much longer? Trying to look at the glass half full; I saw this as a way for me to try several different authentic NYC foods and drinks and some game-day standards available at the stadium. A rationalization my future husband did not understand but gladly enjoyed, because ice cream, soft pretzels, peanuts, Cracker Jack’s and sausage and peppers helped increase this southern girl’s interest level in her new boyfriend's home turf. Little did…

First Person: Uh-Oh

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It's been tempting to gloat a little lately, what with Carolina on a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference winning streak and a trip on Saturday to NC State. The Wolfpack has lost two out of three, fell at Wake Forest on Tuesday, and then went through Twittergate on Wednesday when State players may or may not have endorsed a criticism of head coach Mark Gottfried.  Could there possibly be a better time to play NC State? Here's the bad news: the Wolfpack has Carolina right where they want them. Some programs thrive on consistency and predictability. NC State basketball, at least f…

First Person: Tar Heel Touchstones

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When you follow the Tar Heels as closely as I do (and you too, probably), it’s a fact that the thread of Carolina athletics is going to run through pivotal moments in your life. There’s rarely at time when I’m not checking a score or trying to keep an eye on the game. Like me, you’ve probably snuck out to find a television during a wedding reception, or kept up with a score on your phone. Just now, I asked my wife for the date of my cousin’s wedding almost ten years ago. “October 8, 2003?” she guessed. “It was the date of the Arizona Stat…

First Person: Record Player

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Carolina began Atlantic Coast Conference play this month with very few assurances. How will freshman Marcus Paige perform at point guard? Do the Tar Heels have enough post depth to rebound against the league’s upper echelon? Dependent on the three-pointer for the first time in the Roy Williams era, will Carolina make enough perimeter shots to be competitive? And despite all those questions, there is one virtual certainty, the same one that has been true for the last 47 years: no one is going to break Bob Lewis’s single-game Carolina scoring record. Lewis set his mark on D…

First Person: What I learned at the Holiday Clinic?

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The last day of the year on a chilly Monday was the UNC Men’s Basketball Holiday Clinic. Fans at the UNLV game on Saturday could see signs advertising the clinic scattered about the Dean Dome. The clinic was broken into two sessions: first, second & third graders in the morning followed by fourth, fifth & sixth graders at Noon. Each session had about 250 participants and was run by the UNC coaching staff, players and managers. I attended the Noon session, Coach Williams welcomed the campers and reminded parents the purpose of the clinic and the parents’ role during…

Go Figure: Attendance Woes

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After North Carolina beat ECU last Saturday, head coach Roy Williams was asked how different the atmosphere in the Smith Center was with former Tar Heel point guard Jeff Lebo back in the Smith Center, coaching on the other sideline. “The atmosphere was sort of like my team - it was a little different,” Williams said with a wry smile. And it was...different. Pre-Christmas crowds are not generally huge, but it was actually a pretty good number considering it was a noon game against a non-marquee opponent: 19,147. (To put that in perspective, Carolina had 15,403 at the Florida…