In a recent conversation with several people involved in Carolina football, we reached two conclusions:
1. Gio Bernard would be remembered as one of the best players in Tar Heel history.
2. The definitive Gio Bernard story had yet to be written, and many Carolina fans knew him only as a great running back without knowing the rest of his life story.
Our January 2013 was intended to take our best shot at rectifying that problem. Adam Lucas spent over an hour interviewing Gio, and many hours interviewing the friends and family who have shaped Bernard's football career--but more importantly, shaped his life. The story is supposedly about Bernard. But it's really about his family as a whole, and the incredible journey they've been on since Bernard's father came to America on a boat from Haiti in 1980.
When you decide to come to America from Haiti, you’re doing it because of an opportunity,” says Paul Bernard, Gio's uncle. “You don’t know exactly what is going to happen, but in America you know that there is a chance. You can try to get a better education, and you can try to get a better education for your kids. And if you get that education, then you can set goals. In America, you can achieve those goals.
Gio Bernard hasn't achieved all his goals just yet. But as he announced on Dec. 14, his next challenge will come in the NFL, as he'll enter the 2013 Draft.
Other issue highlights include Jawad Williams on the community activities he enjoyed as a member of the Tar Heels and Lee Pace on the statistical results from Larry Fedora's first season as Tar Heel head coach.