Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

We Heart Tar Heel Basketball

As basketball season approaches I thought you might like hearing my feel good basketball story from last year.  Here goes.  When I was in Tulsa, one of my best friends and his son were HUGE college basketball fans.  He was an Oklahoma State grad. and had taken me to Gallegar-Iba Arena for several OSU games.   He told me on several occasions that one of his “bucket list” wishes was for him and his son to attend a UNC-Duke game.  He had heard so much about the rivalry.   
    In early February I was in a meeting sitting next to Rick Steinbacher, Associate Athletic Director with the Tar Heels.  Before the meeting I was telling Rick about my Friends “bucket list wish”.  Rick kind of looked at me funny and said “ You are the luckiest guy in the world “  .  I said “How so ? “.  Rick told me he had gotten a call from a season ticket holder that morning that could not make the Duke-UNC game in early March and he would drop the two tickets off at Rick’s office latter that week.  He told me if I wanted the two tickets for my friend and his son I was welcome to them.  Imagine my excitement !!!  I could give a really good friend and his son a life time memory, thanks to Rick’s generosity and my blind dumb luck.  I called my friend and told him the good news.  He was ecstatic.  They made plane reservations and would stay with us in Chapel Hill the night of the game, and fly out early Sunday morning.
     About two days before the game my friend calls with a change of plans.  His son was a Freshman at Colorado and the week after the game was exam week.  Colorado Freshmen were not allowed off campus the weekend before exams, sooooooo would I go to the game with him.   WOW !!  Talk about scoring a winner !  He flew in Saturday morning and we did the campus tour.  I had bought him and his family UNC tee shirts and caps earlier.  We parked in a church parking lot behind the Smith Center that Bobby told me about…perfect !  We got there early enough to go to the Basketball Museum on campus and my friend was blown away.  He couldn’t believe he was in basketball heaven.  We grabbed a bite at the game and settled in.  It was a great game and the Tar Heels beat them pretty good.  My friend left at 6 am Sunday morning with profuse appreciation.   So the lesson here is if you are ever in a meeting with Rick Steinbacher, sit next to him.  You just never know !!
- Jim
Be sure to head downtown this Friday, Nov. 11 to catch what will surely be an unforgettable game, The Carrier Classic at 7:00pm.  UNC takes on Michigan State aboard the USS Carl Vinson Air Craft Carrier!  Be sure to cheer your Tar Heels on at one of downtown's many great Restaurants & Bars!  
For more info on The Carrier Classic visit: Tar Heel Blue, ESPN UNC Blog