UNC walkway named for Vince Carter, who donated $2.5 million

Staff writerAugust 10, 2011 

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North Carolina guard Vince Carter, left, drives for the basket as Virginia center Colin Ducharme (52) defends during the second half of their game in Charlottesville, Va., on Wednesday Feb. 11, 1998. No. 1 North Carolina won the game 60-45.

1998 AP FILE PHOTO — 1998 AP file photo

“Letterman’s Lane,” the brick walkway between the Smith Center and Koury Natatorium on North Carolina’s campus, will now be named for one basketball letterman in particular: Vince Carter.

The school announced today that the former All America has made a $2.5 million donation to the Carolina Basketball Family Fund, which paid for the renovations to the Smith Center basketball offices in 2010 and will support the operating endowment for the men’s basketball program.

It is the largest gift, to date, to the fund, earning him more than a brick on the walkway that honors every varsity player, coach, trainer and manager in the history of UNC 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 in a prepared statement. “It goes without saying that I am a Tar Heel. 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 starred at Carolina from 1995-98, helping to the lead the Tar Heels to back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances in 1997 and ’98. He left UNC to become an NBA lottery pick after his junior season, but returned to earn a Bachelor of Arts in African Studies in 2001.

“I am so pleased that Vince and his family are making such a statement about North Carolina basketball with this gift,” UNC coach Roy Williams said in a prepared statement. “I have always known that he loves this University and our basketball team, but now he is showing it in a way that will help us for years to come. He is a remarkable young man and this involvement of he and his family is truly outstanding.”

Athletic director Dick Baddour said in a statement that Carter’s gift “ensures the longevity of the program and will help guarantee that future Tar Heel players will have the same quality of experience that Vince did at Carolina.”

Chancellor Holden Thorp added in a prepared statement that Carter continues to be an example of what a UNC student-athlete can achieve: “His dedication to earning his UNC degree after he had begun his NBA career shows a devotion to his alma mater that extends beyond the basketball court. With this generous donation to the Carolina Basketball Family Fund, Vince secures his legacy as a Tar Heel while creating a place to honor others who have been key to the success of Carolina basketball over the years.”

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