While we are all sitting in our homes, waiting for the “ok” to get back to our daily routines and find our new “normal”, why not re-acquaint ourselves with everything that Chapel Hill has to offer? The city is full of museums, venues and outdoor areas that enrich the lives of those of us who live here as well as those many visitors from out of town. Even though we can’t get out and visit the places that make Chapel Hill home right now, we can still add them to our calendar to give us all something to look forward to in the near future. Today we feature The Carolina Basketball Museum!
UNC’s historic basketball program has been around since 1910 and The Carolina Basketball Museum has been archiving and telling its story since opening its doors in 2008. After winning yet another NCAA Tournament championship, the museum went through a major renovation in 2017. Unlike any other collegiate museum in the nation, guests have access to over 500 artifacts that detail the Tarheels’ rich and illustrious history that has resulted in 18 ACC tournament championships, 20 Final Four appearances, and 6 NCAA Tournament Championships. Highlighted throughout are the legendary players and moments in time that have put UNC at the forefront of men’s basketball.
Inside the museum, spectators start their journey by coming face-to-face with video tributes to Michael Jordan, Roy Williams, Tyler Hansbrough, and Dean Smith. Interactive presentations also detail every aspect of UNC Basketball’s history both on and off the court with historic game calls and player interviews. Once you make your way further into the museum, fans become surrounded by photos, trophies, nets, videos, jerseys donated from players (yes, even MJ himself!). Dean Smith, one of the most prolific coaches in both UNC and college basketball history, has donated all of his memorabilia and mementos from his historic coaching career that spanned from 1961 – 1997.
It seems as if they have thought of everything with the Carolina Basketball Museum. Not only does it contain an astounding amount of history and memorabilia, but the detailing of how the artifacts and media are displayed have allowed guests to instantly feel as if they’re standing on the court itself, surrounded by the nostalgia that we’ve all loved for so long. The museum is located on the first floor of the Arnie Williams Athletic Center, which is directly adjacent to the Smith Center on Skipper Bowles Drive. Admission is FREE and, when it reopens, hours are 10:00 – 4:00 Monday through Friday and 9:00 – 1:00 on Saturdays. On a home game day, they are open until 3 hours prior to tipoff. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of the metered parking spaces located in the Williamson Lot across the street.
Although we are all currently safer at home, planning visits to the likes of the Carolina Basketball Museum and the Chapel Hill campus certainly gives us something to look forward to in the near future.
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