the trail of jordan – chapel hill
Can’t go wrong with an assignment that sends you the University of North Carolina. Jordan was a Tar Heel from 1981 to 1984, lived at Granville Towers, and returned a couple years later to graduate. He also hit a certain shot against Georgetown late in a game in New Orleans to help bring Dean Smith his first national championship.
Carmichael Auditorium, the home of Carolina basketball during those years, is in the middle of a pretty impressive renovation, so it doesn’t quite echo the same look it had. The new basketball museum is spectacular, a must-see for any Tar Heel fan, and contains some impressive memorabilia. And there’s a few mementos around Franklin Street.
Also had the honor of meeting Coach Smith, a man who (in addition to being the greatest college basketball coach of all-time) has done lifetimes worth of good as the social conscience of the University and the State. As Rick Reilly said in the only decent column he ever wrote, “When Dean Smith retired at 66, I never thought I’d meet a man I respected more. Then I met Dean Smith at 72.”
(Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)