Carter Makes Top Gift to Basketball Program

Vince Carter ’99 has made a $2.5 million donation to the Carolina basketball program.

The gift is the largest to date to what is known as the Basketball Family Fund, which supports the operating endowment for the men’s basketball program. Lettermen’s Lane, the brick walkway between the Smith Center and the Koury Natatorium, will be named for Carter, an All-American who left UNC after his junior year to play pro basketball and returned to finish his degree in 2001. Lettermen’s lane honors every varsity player, coach, trainer and manager in the history of Carolina basketball.

“My days as a Carolina student, both pre-NBA and during the summers after I was drafted, will always be special to me,” Carter said. “For several years, I have been thinking about something I could do to leave a legacy at UNC. Lettermen’s Lane is a perfect fit.”

Carter played at Carolina from 1995 to ’98, earning All-America and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors while leading the Tar Heels to back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances in 1997 and 1998. He was an NBA first-round draft lottery pick.

Carter also has been one of the most decorated players in NBA history. He was the league’s 1999 Rookie of the Year and is an eight-time All-Star, leading fan voting three times. He has scored more than 20,000 career points in the NBA and won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic team in 2000.

The Family Fund paid for the renovations of the basketball offices in the Smith Center in 2010.

More online…

  • Distractions of Grandeur: Twice in four years, the early leaving of a pair of players has reduced a guaranteed-awesome Carolina team to a rebuilder. NBA money gets the sticky stuff off their heels. From the November/December 1998 Carolina Alumni Review, available online to Carolina Alumni members.
  • About the Players: Dean Smith’s October surprise brought fresh reminders that the record book shrinks beside the story of the way he did it. From the November/December 1997 Review.
  • Bill’s Due: The former players and assistants most often mentioned as Dean Smith’s successor are among the strongest proponents of the man who sat quietly at his side. From the November/December 1997 Review.

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