How do you explain Carolina basketball to someone who has no idea what a Tar Heel is?
I've tried to explain what basketball means to Chapel Hill a few times since arriving in Australia, but I always come up short.
In truth, I've never had to explain it before. I grew up with Chapel Hill — everyone I know has been watching the Tar Heels play since before they could walk. Even people who can’t point to North Carolina on a map can tell you who Michael Jordan is. I always assumed basketball was just something people know about. Like Beyoncé, or The Beatles.
But Australians have no idea.
It’s times like these when I start to register just how big the 9,000-mile distance between me and Chapel Hill really is. Australian culture is remarkably similar to ours, but the occasional differences can be glaring and home can feel pretty far.