Marvin To 'Return' to the Hill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- The promotional poster calls it 'The Return,' as three stars of the 2005 North Carolina championship team will be back at the Smith Center Oct. 27 for an NBA exhibition game. Marvin Williams and Roy Williams were among those at a Thursday afternoon press conference to announce the game.

Marvin Williams' Atlanta Hawks will play against the Charlotte Bobcats, featuring Sean May and Raymond Felton. The game will tip-off on Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. and tickets are on sale through the UNC ticket office. The Bobcats will also play the Washington Wizards (with former Tar Heels Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood) at the Smith Center on Oct. 17 at 8 p.m.

QUOTES

MARVIN WILLIAMS

"I'm definitely excited to be back in Chapel Hill and I know myself, Raymond and Sean are definitely excited for this game. We played together all summer, so it's going to be fun to be competing back in Chapel Hill."

"Chapel Hill's a very special place for me. I love being around coach and his staff and one of my best friends goes to school here – Quentin Thomas. My education is very, very important to me, and [GM Billy Knight] I want to thank for giving me the opportunity to continue to go after my degree. I came back and went to summer school with Sean. And that's why I chose to spend my summer in Chapel Hill."

"The first year was definitely a learning experience for me. I came back this summer and really did [a lot of work]. I put in a couple more post moves that I think will help me be able to score a bit more this year. I just look back at the first season and try to learn from it. I'm excited to come in and show that I've improved."

"The transition [to the NBA] was okay, but the game was a little bit different from college – better players, different sets – but I'm ready for this year."

ROY WILLIAMS

"This is a thrill for us to be able to see Marvin Williams come back and play again in the Smith Center. I'm no longer his coach, so I'm going to be mad at [Coach] Mike [Woodson] and [GM] Billy [Knight] if he doesn't get 30 shots [laughs]. We're excited as we can possibly be to have him come back. It was, when Marvin and I as well as Sean, Raymond and Rashad, talked about what was best for them. It was best for Marvin to go and I tried to do everything I could to tell the truth and say how great he was – how great he was as a player and how great he was as a person. I jokingly say, but it's true, that I recruited him for three years and got to coach him for one and I felt really blessed to be able to do that."

"We're excited at having the game and I think it'll be great to have those guys here and be able to see Marvin running up and down -- he's much more comfortable now with the NBA game and I think he'll have a great year. I loved going down to see him play last year and I plan to go down and see him again this year. For us, having the NBA come in here is nothing but positive. We hope our fans will support it greatly and I think they will."

"I've had [NBA] teams in the past not cooperate as much about allowing kids to come back to work on their degrees over the summer. I challenge any pro team to say they can get their guys to work out any harder than we do here over the summer. Jonas [Sahration], our strength coach, has done a great job with them and our guys play in the morning and at night so they have an opportunity to really improve. … When Marvin left, I made him promise that he was giving up his eligibility but not his education, and he's continued that which I'm very proud of."

"Having Marvin around here [this summer] has been fantastic. The freshmen were here for five weeks this summer and have never had a day regimented as much as we budgeted their time – they feel like they're in a whirlwind right now, but he was able to tell them that it's going to get better and going to get easier. Just watching how he and Sean, for example, at 7:15 were here every morning working out with Jonas and then came back and played with our guys in the afternoon. So [our players] see what you have to do to be an NBA player and how much you have to work at it. … His work habits and those kind of things have been so valuable to our young kids."

ATLANTA GM BILLY KNIGHT

"Every month of the season we chart statistics and Marvin's statistics got better every month as the year went on without fail. We expect that curve to continue."

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