Thank you Jon Holmes and Rashad McCants

Ramfanatic Note:

This article appeared recently on another message board but it was so uplifting that I asked the author for permission to repost it on this site. The UNC players have received a lot of criticism for what has transpired in the past few weeks, but this article presents McCants and Holmes in a favorable light. Maybe they aren't the monsters some people have made them out to be.

Makes me proud to be a Tar Heel.

Subtitled: Why I'll always love the Heels...

Short version of the story: took the family down to NC last week from Vermont and ended up at the Dean Dome with my 3 year old - wanted to take his picture on the court. This was Wednesday - the day of Dean's moving car trickery, which I witnessed.

As it happened, the floor was being used and when we went back to the car met both Jon Holmes and Rashad McCants and took pictures with them and my boy. With all the stuff going on with the coaching, it totally renewed my faith in the kind of great people we have representing us on and off the court.


Now the long version... We took a family trip to NC for the dedication of the African Pavilion at the state Zoo in Asheboro in memory of a friend and spent 5 days in CH with my grandparents. On Wednesday, I took Liam, my 3 year old over to the Dean Dome, the goal was to get a picture of him at a young age on the court (in case he gets to play for the Heels - class of 2024 - I can live vicariously through him can't I?). The woman at the front desk of the basketball office told me the court was covered for another event, but I could take pics of Liam in the trophy room, which I did.

We came outside, the media hounds were waiting for Dean, I talked to them for a couple of minutes and zoom, Dean's BMW zips off - they panic, then realize it was just a security guard moving the car to the other side of the building and they all zoom off to surround his car.

Liam wants to show me how he can run, so he does and we end up at near Dean's car and I offer to take his picture in front of it and he says no. So we head back to our car and meet the woman from the office coming out with a couple other folks. I thank her for suggesting the trophy room and ask if maybe I could get a picture of Liam with any of the players and she says sure, how about this guy standing next to her. I was so completely embarrassed that I didn't recognize Jon Holmes, but there he was. Liam was feeling shy, so I held him and someone took a picture of Jon, Liam and myself and I talked to Jon for a couple of minutes and with any luck didn't leave him with the impression that I was a total moron. If he thought I was, he didn't let on, he was great - friendly and smiling and in no hurry.

We then headed for our car and turn around and see none other than Rashad McCants on the sidewalk looking around. I walked over and said hello and asked if he would mind a photo with my boy. He smiles and says sure and asks if he can hold Liam and I took a couple of quick pictures. I actually became somewhat star stuck (very unlike me) and told him I appreciated what he was going through and that he had given me and my son many things to cheer for during the year. I also asked if he knew of Steve Hale, which he didn't really (I later realized he would have been about 2 when Hale was a freshman) and that he was now Dr. Hale and was my son's pediatrician up north.

In retrospect, Rashad was waiting for a group of friends to show up and would have been mobbed by the media hounds had they seen him (one group quickly surrounded Melvin Scott when he arrived, but the interviewer left his mike on the bumper of a car, so they got nothing - very funny really).

He easily could have respectfully declined citing (a) his friends showing up and not wanting to pose for some old guy with a kid and a camera, or (b) wanting to keep his guard up in case the media spotted him. Instead he was really nice and I've got pictures that were the highlight of the whole trip and that my son will treasure when he's older.

So what's the point of all this? Through all the difficulties of the past couple of weeks in which I've doubted my allegiance to my blood team, I came away knowing why I'm proud to be a Tar Heel: guys like Jon and Rashad who took the time from their schedules to humor me and make my entire year.

And also a big thanks to the young woman in the basketball office, who was so incredibly nice (except when I tried to read something she was concerned about on her computer screen - I got a dirty look for that, but hey, I was curious). I walked in as a stranger, someone who's been away from CH for 10 years and left feeling a part of the university and team that has brought me so much enjoyment throughout my life.

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And if this gets back to any of the three I've been raving about here - thank you all again. -Just Andrew