Every October as the leaves start turn, the air gets a nice crisp feel and the season begin to change….and I not talking about the weather. I’m talking about sports.
In Tar Heel Nation, October marks the official start of basketball season…my favorite time of the year! And every year (well since I can remember), UNC celebrates the start of this amazing sports season with an event that’s near and dear to my heart….Late Night with Roy. It’s a time when students, alumni, fans and the players (past and present) come together in the Dean Dome and kick off the season.
But of course, like anything else we do, we, Tar Heels, don’t just do a scrimmage or two….we perform!
During the night, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams perform a variety of skits and dances with videos in between that let you see the players from a different side. They’re still in basketball gear but they’re acting like contestants on a game show or impersonating their coaches and it’s really funny.
There are also several montages of basketball highlights and I always loved those! (And, sidenote, that’s one of the things that attracted me to try sports because the right shots with the right movie is sheer genius — too bad sports wasn’t my thing but at least now I know a few of the great people who create those highlight montages!)
But the biggest treat of Late Night with Roy is seeing fellow Tar Heel, Stuart Scott! He has been hosting the event for years and it feels great to know that even though he has a busy schedule, he still makes time to come back home to Carolina to host this special event.
Well, tonight was that night. It was Late Night with Roy and it was really weird not being in Chapel Hill for the event. I remember going to my first one like it was yesterday!
It happened to be the same day as University Day during my freshman year and I remember sitting outside the Dean Dome starting at like 2pm when the doors didn’t even open until like 7pm but it was so worth it because we had some great seats! We got posters of the team and it was the best way to start my first basketball season as a fan and UNC student! But tonight, I had to resort to watching Late Night on the Internet via ESPN 3 which wasn’t that bad…but it wasn’t the same as being in Dean Dome with all the cheering fans, the music blasting from the stereo and all the players and coaches on the court.
But even though, I was watching the event from my laptop and all the way from Maryland, it was still a great event that has me excited for this year’s season! (especially with that preseason #1 ranking that we have…but I’m not bragging lol). However, this year’s Late Night was a little bit more special than usual. As most people know, Stuart Scott has been undergoing a lot of treatment and he’s actually a two-time cancer survivor but you wouldn’t know sometimes because he remains so positive about the experience. So to honor all that he’s done…as a Tar Heel, reporter, sports anchor and survivor.
Tonight at Late Night, they had a montage highlighting Stuart’s career from ESPN, previous times at the Late Night host and even his early days with WRAL in Raleigh. But after the video ended, Roy Williams and the entire basketball team present Stuart with a jersey with #1 on it and a check in his name for $20,000 for Cancer Research at UNC. Now talk about emotional. It was really nice to see the school take a moment to thank someone who’s not on the court but fighting a fight greater than most of us will ever imagine. Even Stuart was caught off guard by the moment and the acknowledgment.
@Stuart Scott “Hosting
@LateNightwRoy & was floored Whn Coach & players donated 20K chk in my name 4 Cancer research at UNC Linebrrger Institute #HONORED“