One of the coolest traditions in college basketball happens down at Chapel Hill, but it has nothing to do with the Dean Dome, Roy Williams or the rivalry with Duke.
When they have free time during the offseason, the Tar Heel stars head out and play pickup ball with the students that occupy the stands for home games.
The games date back to last season, when Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes, who have since declared for the NBA Draft, would head out and play with some of the students. As word of their attendance spread, more and more students started to show up. And, as you can see with this video from The Daily Tar Heel, the pick-up games are now attracting a couple of hundred players:
“They loved us all season,” rising junior Reggie Bullock told the Daily Tar Heel. “They was there throughout our wins and losses and this is just us giving back. Signing autographs, interacting with our fellow classmates.”
But without a doubt, the star of the video is eight-year old Addis Cone. He makes his first appearance and the three-minute mark and proceeds to score a number of buckets as he was put onto a team with the UNC players. Not only did Cone cap his performance with a dunk (assisted, of course), but he’s already mastered the art of the interview cliche.
“The basketball players were very nice,” Cone said. “They gave me a lot of chances to shoot and I just felt good.”
In all seriousness, this is just a great thing for the UNC players to do, and a very easy way to keep the students and the fan base on their side.