Friday, March 6, 2009

Carolinas Mount Rushmore: North Carolina

Tenth of a series.

ESPN is naming its "Mount Rushmore" for sports in each of the 50 states. We liked the idea, so we're taking a smaller slice. Today, the Mount Rushmore of University of North Carolina athletics.

Dean Smith, basketball: After 36 years, the 'Dean' of college basketball retired from North Carolina in 1997 with 879 wins, then the most for a Div. I men's basketball coach. His career included two national championships. The Tar Heels play in the arena named after him -- the Dean E. Smith Center.

Charlie 'Choo-Choo' Justice, football: An All-American in 1948 and 1949 at North Carolina, Justice ran or threw for 64 touchdowns and set a team total-offense record of 4,883 yards during his college career. He was a two-time runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, and went on to play in the NFL for the Washington Redskins.

Michael Jordan, basketball: Considered by many the best basketball player of all time, Jordan was known as "Mike" when he first arrived on UNC's campus. Jordan made the game-winning jump shot in the in the 1982 championship game against Georgetown. He averaged 17.7 ppg on 54 percent shooting in his three years as a Tar Heel.

Mia Hamm, soccer: Before she retired from women's soccer in 2004, Hamm won four national championships at UNC and scored 158 goals for the U.S. Women's Soccer team. In so doing, she became one of the most popular women's athletes in the world -- and a role model for little girls who wanted to become athletes, too.

— Robbi Pickeral

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Disagree? Think we left someone out? Tell us in the comments below who you'd add, and which of our picks yours should replace.

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Vote in our Poll! Which school has the more impressive O List "Mount Rushmore," Duke or North Carolina?

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems someone from the Charlotte Observer should be on this list. After all, the Observer has promoted unc-chapel hill athletics more than anyone.

Rabbit said...

Dean Smith is obvious

Choo Choo could be replaced with Lawrence Taylor but, cocaine is a hell of a drug.

Michael Jordan could be replaced if you made it about accomplishments at UNC, with Phil Ford, James Worthy, etc.

Mia Hamm could be replaced with Anson Dorrance, but you know, scandals.

Anonymous said...

Good LT joke Rabbit, however MJ could never be replaced by anyone in anything regarding sports. The Greatest Athlete of all-time put UNC on the map for a lot of people not from North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

This list is fine, but I have never heard of Mia Hamm. You could have included James Worthy, especially since he is from Gastonia. He was as important to the basketball game as Michael. Also, there was never the bad vides around James that you have around Michael - his betting and all. What is James doing these days?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:31: "never the bad vibes around James that you have around Michael"? Did you forget Worthy's arrest in 1990 for solicitation of prostitution?

Neither of them has been perfect off the court. On the court, they were both great players, but Jordan trumps Worthy.

Anonymous said...

And you need to get out more if you've never heard of Mia Hamm.

Anonymous said...

If you've never heard of Mia Hamm, then that's a YOU problem.

Anonymous said...

Wow, never heard of Mia Hamm. She's probably the only on the list all of the ABCers don't even hate.

Anonymous said...

No Marion Jones? Arguably the most dominant track and field women's ath;ete ever....oh wait, nevermind...UNC seems to have washed their hands from her.

Anonymous said...

What about Lou Brown? Certainly made his mark.

Anonymous said...

Coach K > Dean

Laettner in college > MJ in college

Anonymous said...

Tarholes have a girl on their mountain!! lol

Anonymous said...

Mia Hamm was a Tarheel? Awww, now I have to hate Mia Hamm

Anonymous said...

Mia Hamm is better than 3/4 of the Duke foursome!

Anonymous said...

On the collegiate level: David Thompson of NC State > Michael Jordan of Carolina

Anonymous said...

I believe Fred Brown of Georgetown should be on this list. If not for his pass, what would the UNC legacy be other than mediocrity?

Anonymous said...

Blabber all you want, but one play does not win a championship. And the UNC legacy is:
4 National Titles
2nd most wins ever
17 ACC Tourney Titles
26 ACC Reg Season Titles
31 consecutive 20-win seasons (most ever)
17 Final Fours
12 #1 seeds (most ever)
703 times ranked in Top 25 AP (most ever)
37 consecutive top-3 in ACC (most ever)

I could go on, but I think that's enough to show that that pass didn't make our legacy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. For once a UNC fan claims a legitimate FOUR National Titles. Glad to see that not every Tarhole considers the plaque they won in 1924 a "National Title".

Anonymous said...

Three coaches on Duke's mountain? Oh, I forgot basketball and displaced New Jersians? is all they got going on in Durham. UNC is well represented all around in athletics. Sould have replaced Laettener with Spurrier.

Anonymous said...

Want more well rounded Dukies?

Matt Danowski: top scorer in NCAA lacrosse history

Ace Parker: 3-Time All-American, NFL MVP, College FB HOF/Pro FB HOF

Clarkston Hines: Most TD catches in ACC Football History

Dan Brooks: Coach; 5 NCAA Golf Championships

Anonymous said...

lol... "you have a girl on your wall"...that was hilarious!
Did Choo Choo Justice make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Guess not... b/c there was one left out on Duke's list- George McAfee was left off... yeah- he made it to the Hall. Good try Carolina fans- well represented in ALL sports- good one!

Anonymous said...

1. Marion "Cheater" Jones
2. Rasheed "Technical" Wallace
3. Lawrence "Cokehead" Taylor
4. Rashad "Inmate" McCants

Apologies to Ty Lawson.

Anonymous said...

Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice, now that name should be revered.
The only man to take a cut in pay from going from college to the pros!
Great football player and a great individual.

Anonymous said...

For the last time: there is no such thing as an "ACC Regular Season Title". Yes, everybody hangs banners for them- but they don't technically exist in the ACC by-laws.

However, it's time for the ACC to suck it up and award them.

Panthersguy said...

How about Lawrence Taylor???? Why is the best LB ever not on the list?

Blakeney said...

May I offer Jimmy V? His legacy will outlast em' all.....

Anonymous said...

Why are there so many NC State fans on this page? Ya'll hound anything UNC/Duke like it's your business. It's not.