The tour started with a cinematic experience that could stand as its own exhibit. In just four minutes, I relived over 100 years of basketball history, from national titles to huge players hitting huge shots. I could have run through a wall after watching that video.
As I walked through the large double doors and out of the theater room, I could have sworn I was surrounded by my fellow students in the Dean Dome. As classic "U-N-C" chants played all around me, I stood frozen, staring out at countless memorabilia, sitting on the same wood graced by legends like Michael Jordan and Kenny (The Jet) Smith.
Where to begin — that was the million dollar question. In a formulaic and well-thought-out approach, I turned right and started walking until I hit something. As I made my way around, values like teamwork, family and trust showed through Carolina’s basketball history.
From old gear to Naismith trophies, no Carolina memory went untold in this museum. Coaches, teams and legendary players were commemorated and put on display, all being recognized for their contribution to Carolina basketball.
Just when I thought I had seen it all, however, I came upon the museum's ultimate tribute. Standing in the far corner of the exhibit, Michael Jordan's jersey reminds us of his lasting impact on the game.
Then, in the March Madness section, I was able to look back at every national championship run in UNC history. As I relived these journeys, I found myself cheering for teams that existed before I was born, but that didn’t stop me from beaming with pride for my alma mater.
As I admired all of the trophies that this school has piled up, it was clear that the University boasts one of the most successful sports programs of all time. Each trophy embodied the hard work and dedication exhibited by the coaches and players that earned them.
To finish my tour, I walked into something rather unexpected. In my time at UNC, I have never been held in such awe as the moment that I set my eyes on all of the national championship trophies displayed together behind six glowing championship rings. To describe this sight as majestic simply does not do it justice.
I left the museum with a newfound sense of pride for my team, and what better time than just a few days before the kickoff of the 2014-2015 season? I cannot recommend the experience enough to my fellow Tar Heels, and I will certainly be making another visit to the museum soon; perhaps before UNC clashes with national powerhouse and top ranked Kentucky on December 13.