Basketball

******Photo of Kyrie Irving
Marcio Jose Sanchez / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The 2016 Summer Olympics kick off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil tomorrow.

This year, dozens of athletes with connections to North Carolina are competing in events ranging from basketball, track, and swimming to air rifle and canoe slalom.

Basketball players Harrison Barnes and Kyrie Irving are part of the star-studded men’s basketball team coached by Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski, and women’s soccer player Tobin Heath will be playing with the hopes of winning a third gold medal.

A picture of PNC Arena.
Alexisrael / Wikipedia

Fans of the Carolina Hurricanes and NC State's men's basketball team could soon have new places to grill before a game or clink glasses after a victory.

Tom McCormick, chairman of the state-appointed Centennial Authority that oversees PNC Arena, said they are planning for major renovations.

"We're 15 years old now, starting into our 16th year. And like everything else, it's always good to freshen up," he said.

PNC Arena's multi-million dollar face lift could include a rooftop patio and space for luxury tailgating.  

Profile photo of Mark Dreibelbis from the NCHSAA.
www.nchsaa.org/ / www.nchsaa.org/

For Mark Dreibelbis, not much is more exciting than the world of high school sports. From the fans to the rules, he loves every minute. As an associate commissioner with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, Dreibelbis serves on national committees that have adopted a host of new rules in recent years aimed at keeping student athletes safe.

North Carolina College Eagles, 1943-1944, from left to right: George Parks, Aubrey Stanley, James “Boogie” Hardy, Floyd Brown, Henry “Big Dog” Thomas.
Alex Rivera

On a Sunday morning in March 1944, most of Durham, North Carolina, was in church. That's the way basketball coach John McLendon wanted it when his all-black college team from North Carolina Central University (then the North Carolina College for Negroes) faced off against an all-white team from Duke University’s medical school. 

Dean Smith during his conversation with William Friday.
UNC-TV

North Carolina and Duke continue their storied rivalry in men's basketball tonight.

But tonight's match-up in Durham comes 11 days after the passing of legendary UNC coach Dean Smith.  Many Duke fans are expected to wear dark blue t-shirts with the name "Dean" in the place of "Duke."

Dean Smith
UNC-Chapel Hill

Dean Smith, the legendary men's college basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has passed away. He was 83 years old.

"Coach Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children," his family said in a statement. "We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as arrangements are made available to the public."

Remembering Dean Smith

Feb 8, 2015
15 Mar 1997: Coach Dean Smith of the North Carolina Tarheels gives instructions to his players during a playoff game against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Tarheels won the game 73 - 56 giving
Bo Gordy-Stith (PBoBS) / Flickr/Creative Commons

Induction into a sports Hall of Fame is a reflective moment for any athlete or coach. Nine Tar Heel players or coaches are in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and eight of them either had some connection to Dean Smith or were Dean Smith. And none missed the opportunity to thank him during their acceptance speeches:

Michael Jordan: “Coach Smith… what else can I say about him? He’s legendary in the game of coaching.”

A picture of Mike Krzyzewski.
Duke Photography

Duke Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski now has one thousand career victories.

The Blue Devils defeated St. John's yesterday in New York City, 77-68.  Fans have been on the edge of their seats leading up to this thousandth win. (Twitter exploded with the news, with photos and videos being shared under the hashtag #Coach1K

Coach K in the locker room, 1983. This was his third year as the Duke head coach.
Duke University Archives

This weekend, Duke's legendary basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, or Coach K, might net his 1,000th career win, and there is a lot of buzz.

Coach K has 999 career wins. His first 73 victories came at West Point coaching Army, between 1975 and 1980.
Jeff Tiberii

Mike Krzyzewski leads the Duke men's basketball team into Madison Square Garden this weekend. The legendary Coach K is simply treating it as the 19th game of this season for his Blue Devils. However a milestone is within reach.

The preeminent coach in college basketball was up to the usual this past Monday – glaring at officials, instructing future multi-millionaires and enjoying the home-court advantage his devoted student followers helped create. Duke’s back court played well, helping to end a rare two-game losing streak by polishing off the Pitt Panthers.

A picture of Duke fans holding a cutout of Mike Krzyzewski's face.
goduke.com

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski is now a win shy of career victory one thousand. 

The Blue Devils topped Pitt 79-65 last night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Afterward, Coach K downplayed any special meaning for win 999. 

"It means we’re 16-and-two. That’s exactly what that means," Krzyzewski says. "And hopefully we can be 17-and-two in the next game we play." 

Krzyzewski has more wins than any college basketball coach in men's history. Duke's next game is in New York against St. John's on Sunday.

Ralston Turner takes a shot.
NC State

There was a major upset in men's college basketball on Sunday, when unranked NC State beat the previously undefeated Duke, 87-75.

The Wolfpack's Trevor Lacey scored 21 points, and Ralston Turner added 16. The team overall shot 55 percent.

NC State Coach Mark Gottfried says his team knocked down some tough shots, and kept heavy pressure on Duke's preseason All-American Jahlil Okafor.

Update January 7, 2015:

In the summer of 2014, we heard about a vintage photo that was found tucked away in one of the books at the Chapel Hill Public Library. No one knew how long the picture had been there, but the photo caught our imagination. Who was this Duke Blue Devil?

For a time, the mystery appeared to be solved.  The son of a Duke alum, Donald Brandon, wrote to say, "It looks like Bill Werber."

OpenDurham.org via the Duke Archives

This week marks the 75th anniversary of Cameron Indoor Stadium, home to Duke University Basketball. In that time, the Blue Devils have won 4 national championships, and made 38 NCAA Tournament appearances. But the building itself has as much history as the teams that have passed through it.

At its founding, the stadium was the largest south of Philadelphia. It flaunted some of the most modern conveniences of any venue.

Longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died of cancer Sunday morning. He was 49 years old. Scott was known for his on-camera presence, and the catch-phrases he coined. 

"Boo-Yah!" 

"He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin' him to school."

The broadcaster was beloved in the Carolina community. He went to high school in Winston-Salem, and later attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he worked at the campus radio station, WXYC.  After graduation, he worked at stations around the country, and then was hired to help launch ESPN 2.

Basketball player Josiah Brown can dribble with either hand; he has a spin move and he regularly drains shots from outside the lane. But Brown, who lives in Wilmington, N.C., isn't a hot high school prospect, because he's only 4.

Man Versus Science

May 15, 2014
Logo for ESPN. Sport Science is an ESPN TV series
Creative Commons

    

Can an NFL running back muster the same force as a running bull? Does a nine-foot python squeeze harder than a martial arts star?

Current and former NBA players praised the league's decision to punish LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling with a lifetime ban over racist remarks he made in an audio recording. Commissioner Adam Silver announced the punishment Tuesday, days after the audio emerged.

In addition to the lifetime ban, the NBA also fined Sterling $2.5 million.

We play for each other, for our fans, and for our families — not Donald Sterling.

That was the general message that players for the Los Angeles Clippers reiterated, off-mic, when the Sterling fiasco blew up over the weekend. They were being buffeted by questions about how, exactly, they might respond to allegations that Sterling, the team owner, had been recorded saying that he did not want black people to attend his team's games. Would they boycott? Would they be focused enough to be able to play?

Lady TarHeels advance to sweet sixteen over Michigan St. 2014
University of North Carolina Athletics

This photo from Carolina Athletics says it all:

The photo was first shared on Facebook with a caption that reads: "How sweet it is! Carolina got the win over Michigan State and is headed to the Sweet 16!"

More about the game and the NCAA championship here. Or follow the team's journey in the tourney on Facebook.

LeVelle Moton
LeVelle Moton via Twitter

Updated Saturday March 22, 2014:

LeVelle Moton's Twitter profile says it all:

"Basketball is what I do, not who I am. Child of God, Hattie Mac's Baby boy. Head Coach At North Carolina Central University."

Moton seemed destined to be the head coach at NCCU. He grew up in Raleigh, and lived with his mother in a housing project. He was a McDonald's All American Nominee at Enloe High School, was Wake County Player of the Year, and was selected for All State.

LaVelle Moton
nccuealepride.comg

Four North Carolina universities -- all located in the Triangle -- have earned bids to this year's National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament.  The highest seed is Duke.  The Blue Devils are third in the Midwest region.  But the Atlantic Coast Conference runner-up will open tournament play against Mercer University at PNC Arena in Raleigh on Friday. North Carolina Central University is making its first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.  The Mid Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champions are seeded 14th in the East region.  They will put a 20-game win streak on the line against third-seed Iowa State Friday in San Antonio.  

15 Mar 1997: Coach Dean Smith of the North Carolina Tarheels gives instructions to his players during a playoff game against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Tarheels won the game 73 - 56 giving
Bo Gordy-Stith (PBoBS) / Flickr/Creative Commons

Former UNC-Chapel Hill men's basketball coach Dean Smith's 83rd birthday was last week, and several major news organizations have marked his life and legacy with extraordinary articles. Smith has dementia now, and that makes both of the articles we'll highlight here so moving.

basketball
mvongrue via Flickr/Creative Commons

Daniel Vermeer grew up in Iowa with a passion for basketball. When his academic studies took him to Nepal, he discovered an interesting influence of American cable television: local love for the Atlanta Hawks.

"So you can imagine," says Vermeer, "[I'm] in this little hut in Kathmandu, watching TV and an Atlanta Hawks game came on.  With these enormous guys, jumping through the roof, slamming the ball..." 

Duke Blue Planet

There's a group of students at Duke  called The Crazies. They are the kids who get all decked out and painted up and sit in the most coveted spot during basketball games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Crazies are the uber fans. They camp out for 6-8 weeks in order to be in the front row when Duke plays UNC at home.

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