Two Legends Elected to Basketball Hall of Fame

Vince Carter ’99 and Walter Davis ’77 were elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s class of 2024.

Carter and Davis are the 13th and 14th individuals who either played or coached at Carolina to be inducted. The 2024 class was announced April 6 at the Final Four in Phoenix, and the two will be inducted in Springfield, Massachusetts, Aug. 17.

With the addition of Carter and Davis, UNC has eight former players elected to the Hall of Fame, the most of any school. They join Billy Cunningham ’65, Charlie Scott ’70, Bob McAdoo ’72, Bobby Jones ’74, James Worthy ’85 and Michael Jordan ’86. The other Hall of Fame inductees with Carolina ties were former head coaches at UNC — Ben Carnevale, Frank McGuire, Dean Smith and Roy Williams ’72 (’73 MA) — and former UNC players who coached in the NBA — Larry Brown ’63 and George Karl ’73. Kansas has the most Hall of Fame inductees with 20.

Carter was named first team All-ACC and second team All-American as a junior at Carolina in 1998. He led the team to two consecutive Final Four appearances in 1997 and 1998. He averaged 15.6 points in his third and final college season.

Carter played 22 seasons in the NBA and ranks third all-time in games played behind Robert Parish and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He became the first NBA player to play in four different decades. He also won NBA Rookie of the Year in 1999 and the Slam Dunk Contest in 2000. He was chosen to play on the U.S. Olympic Team in 2000, when Team USA won the gold medal.

Davis, affectionately known as “Sweet D,” played for Carolina from 1973 to 1977 and led the team to an ACC tournament title and an appearance in the 1977 national championship game, in which he led the team with 20 points in a loss to Marquette. In 1974, Davis, a freshman, banked in a 25-foot shot at the buzzer against Duke to complete an 8-point comeback in the final 17 seconds of regulation, sending the game into overtime. Carolina went on to win. (See “8 Points. 17 Seconds,” January/February 2024 Review.)

Davis, the uncle of Coach Hubert Davis ’92, went on to play for the Phoenix Suns, winning NBA Rookie of the Year in 1978 and being named a six-time NBA All-Star. The Suns retired his jersey in 1994 and in 2004 added him to their Ring of Honor. Davis died last year at the age of 69. (See “In Memoriam,” January/February 2024 Review.)

— Cameron Hayes Fardy ’23

Share via: