The money was raised through the sale of approximately 1,000 basketballs,
autographed by the Tar Heel players and coaches during the 2004-05 national
"We are blessed to have a way to make an absolute and positive impact on
the lives of people who truly need assistance," says Tar Heel head coach Roy Williams. "Donating the proceeds from the autographed basketballs allows our
players to feel a special bond with the community. Our players are pleased
to know they have a hand in helping others who need it most."
The basketball team selects the local charities on an annual basis. The
money for the student aid fund goes to needy North Carolina residents who
attend the University. The team has delivered food to and spent time with
the Interfaith Council and Ronald McDonald House during the holidays in
"It's a great opportunity to give back to our communities," says David Noel, a senior from Durham. "There are a lot of special things I associate
with being a Carolina basketball player, but the chance to actually help
people in need is one of the ones I feel strongest about."
The student-athletes chose to share a portion of the proceeds with the
Pediatric Oncology/Hematology Department at UNC Hospitals in part because
3-year-old Reece Holbrook is receiving treatment there. Reece is the son of
Jennifer and Chad Holbrook, an administrative assistant to Coach Williams
and assistant baseball coach at Carolina, respectively.
"Our guys have seen first-hand with Reece the great work being done at UNC
Hospitals," says Williams. "He gives them inspiration and they wanted to say
thank you to UNC Hospitals on his behalf."
During the season, the Tar Heel men's basketball team also purchased toys
and other items for underprivileged children and gave a clinic for North
Carolina Special Olympics.
Last year, the Tar Heels donated a total of $36,000 from the sale of