North Carolina to rename Smith Center floor after Roy Williams

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One day after Roy Williams turned 68 years old, he got his birthday present from North Carolina.

On Thursday, the school announced that they will be renaming the floor at the Smith Center ‘Roy Williams Court.’

It’s very hard to believe; it’s just so flattering,” Williams said in a statement released by the school. “I have to figure out a way to thank all my current and former players, because it may be my name on the court, but it really honors all of them because they made the plays.

Williams has been with the Tar Heels for 15 years, winning three national titles in that span to go along with eight ACC regular season title and three ACC tournament titles.

Williams released the following statement:

“I also want to thank my family for all the support and love they’ve given me over the years. I’ve missed many family things over the years, and they were so understanding. Naming the court will be a thrill for my family. I’ll try to say the right things to the former players, to my family and to the Carolina administration, but I don’t know if I will be able to adequately state how grateful I am.

“I love this place. For 15 years as the head coach and 10 as an assistant, I’ve tried every day to give everything I could to make the Carolina Basketball program better. Fortunately, when I started I had Coach (Dean) Smith, Coach (Bill) Guthridge and Eddie Fogler, who taught me everything about running a program.

“I think about my high school coach, Buddy Baldwin, the person responsible for getting me into the game and into coaching. I also think of Coach Smith. I turned 68 yesterday, and every day I think about doing things that would make Coach proud. It worries me to this day because I never want to let the program down.

“It’s overwhelming to think about it. Coach Smith did so much, he was so good for people. He would be proud of what we’ve done on the court, but Coach was always able to do so much more for the players off the court. I’m glad his name is on the building. It’s going to be hard to think of my name on the floor in his building.

“I would have been perfectly content to be Coach Smith’s assistant for 30 years, but then he thought it was a good idea for me to go Kansas. From that moment on, I’ve tried to do things that he would have approved of. We’ve won some games and some tournaments, and we’ve even won a few championships. Even with the Hall of Fame (induction) in 2007, I’ve never allowed myself to look back on all that. This is probably the first time I can say I think we’ve done okay.”