NBA Draft

#TrulyBlessed: UNC, Duke players chronicle NBA Draft with social media

cwright@newsobserver.comJuly 6, 2012 

They arrived in New York early last week from different places at different stages of their lives.

Three friends and a foe, once separated by eight miles and varying shades of blue, now joining forces.

They shared a stage, a bond, a childhood dream realized. The NBA draft was a different kind of crazy, and following a celebratory night of hugs and handshakes, they departed on separate planes for new adventures in new cities.

Harrison Barnes took in a baseball game and asked for help finding a restaurant in San Francisco. Austin Rivers shouted he loved New Orleans. John Henson enjoyed Milwaukee but couldn’t wait to see everyone back in Chapel Hill. Tyler Zeller, now a teammate of Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, explained to the media that, yes, a North Carolina player can co-exist with a Duke player, perhaps even set him an occasional screen.

Kendall Marshall and Miles Plumlee partied from afar. Before the draft, Marshall implored his Tar Heel teammates to make history. After they did, he raced to Phoenix and joked about the scorching sun. Plumlee returned to Indiana, where he’ll encounter the same divided house dynamic awaiting Zeller-Irving. If the Pacers have a sense of humor, they’ll make him sit beside Tyler Hansbrough on cross-country charter flights. Both have fond memories of Cameron Indoor Stadium.

We know about their draft experience because they told us ... 140 characters at a time. They invited us inside their world, from the buildup to the sleepless nights to the thrill of finally pulling on an NBA jersey. The one with their name — not Kobe’s — on the back.


June 26

4:33 p.m.: Tyler Zeller @ZellerTyler: Getting my #NBADraft haircut then to get my suit fitted @TheLockerRoom #draftdreams

June 27

2:19 a.m.: Austin Rivers @AustinRivers25 : This whole week got me so anxious and excited I can’t sleep…

6:14 a.m.: Ty Lawson @TyLawson3 : One more day and my Lil homie @KButter5 reaches his dream.

3:24 p.m.: @ZellerTyler: Having an awesome time @nbacares event! @TheLockerRoom #draftdreams #nbadraft

3:26 p.m.: @ZellerTyler: Spoke with the media today too – lots going on here in NYC for the @NBA draft @TheLockerRoom @draftdreams

4:18 p.m.: Harrison Barnes @HBarnes : Happy to do @nbacares at the boys and girls club in Harlem! I grew up hoping in one and was glad I got to give back

4:19 p.m.: @AustinRivers25 : Had a great time today working with the kids on their game! It’s good to know the NBA always gives back! #nbacares

5:30 p.m.: @ZellerTyler: Check @HBarnes and I out on espn at 545. @TheLockerRoom #draftdreams

10:27 p.m.: @HBarnes : Not sure if I’ll be able to sleep tonight

June 28

12:45 a.m.: @HBarnes : #TrulyBlessed !!!!!

2:55 p.m.: @HBarnes : I’m happy I get to rep the state of Iowa and UNC at the draft tonight. Truly a dream come true to be able to sit in the green room!

6:45 p.m.: Kendall Marshall @KButter5 : Let’s make history.

9:05 p.m.: @KButter5 : I can’t believe this … I’m in the NBA.

9:44 p.m.: @HBarnes : Thank you to my mom, sister, Coach Vance Downs, Coach Roy Williams, my agent Jeff Wechsler, and all the other people who helped me get here.

9:53 p.m.: @UNC_Basketball : Four 1st-round picks gives #UNCBBall 13 1st-rounder & 10 Lottery picks in 9 yrs under Roy Williams.

10:18 p.m.: @AustinRivers25 : So thankful for this opportunity! Have to thank God! I love new Orleans and I’m excited to play there and become a new Orleans Hornet!

10:21 p.m.: @AustinRivers25 : Let’s goooo miles Plumlee!! So happy for my bro!

10:30 p.m.: John Henson @_John_Henson_ : Can’t wait to get to Milwaukee tomorrow morning !!

10:39 p.m.: @UNC_Basketball : Four Tar Heels among Top 17 picks in NBA Draft. #UNCBBall.

10:40 p.m.: @AustinRivers25 : Let the games begin!!

11:39 p.m.: Cleveland Plain Dealer @PDcavsinsider : (Tyler) Zeller, a North Carolina product, says he will sacrifice rivalry to play with Duke product Kyrie Irving.

11:54 p.m.: @KButter5 : Excited to be apart of the @PhoenixSuns ! #PassFir5t 28

June 29

1:00 a.m.: @HBarnes : Thankful to have loved ones at the draft

6:43 a.m.: @KButter5 : PHX bound #UpUpAway

12:05 p.m.: @KButter5 : Step outside and caught a mean left hook from the heat. Welcome to PHX I guess lol

4:46 p.m.: @KButter5 : Had fun meeting with fans at the #HoopsHub, looking forward to getting to you all off the court!

6:55 p.m.: @HBarnes : I’ve never been to the bay area before…can anyone tell me good spots to eat, places to visit, etc.?

7:48 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : I hate.

7:49 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : Connecting flights.

7:53 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : How do you not have a mechanic available at an airport ….. Geez lol

10:35 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : Chapel Hill bound.

June 30

10:55 a.m.: @KButter5 : @_John_Henson_ I get back to the Hill tonight broooo

3:27 p.m.: @KButter5 : The way I play doesn’t exactly translate to video games lol – RT @kingdot602 : @KButter5 what u think your rating will b as a rookie

5:28 p.m.: @HBarnes : I’m hyped I get to go to this San Jose/LA galaxy game tonight at Stanford Stadium #CaliClasico

6:55 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : Shoutout to the family @HBarnes out in Oakland.. ya’ll about to see how serious his game really is ... don’t say I didn’t warn ya !

July 1

4:35 p.m.: @HBarnes : Great weather for this Giants game!

6:01 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : Good to be back! RT @Tha_Boy_B_A : blurry but John Henson getting shots up @ Dean E. Smith Center / Dean Dome

July 2

12:29 p.m.: @ZellerTyler: Had a great time filming with @awesomenesstv . Check out my How to Be Awesome Episode

3:38 p.m.: @HBarnes : It’s official!!

6:00 p.m.: @_John_Henson_ : Great hooping with the fellas today !..missed them dudes !

July 3

2:10 a.m.: @HBarnes : @_ACav_1 felt like a dream come true @HBarnes how did it feel to put on YOUR NBA jersey??

Wright: 919-829-4643

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