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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels in the Pros: players, young and old, kick off first two weeks of NBA season

Dean Smith talks to Vince Carter during the Feb. 27, 1996 game against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons won 84-60. DTH File/Erik Perel.

Dean Smith talks to Vince Carter during the Feb. 27, 1996 game against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons won 84-60. DTH File/Erik Perel.

From Vince Carter to Justin Jackson, Tar Heels both old and young are performing in the NBA — some 18 years apart. Here's how they are doing in the first two weeks of the season.  

Vince Carter

He was dunking at UNC in 1998. 

Twenty years later, Carter slammed a windmill dunk with ease as his red Nikes flew off the court in warm-ups for Monday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 41-year-old is in his 21st season in the NBA. He is the league's oldest active player and is currently on a one-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks. 

His biggest role? Mentoring younger players like 20-year-old Trae Young through the Hawks’ rebuilding process. Young was born the same year Carter was drafted. Need more emphasis? Luka Doncic was not even a year old when Carter won the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

In his game Monday night against the 76ers, Carter played 20 minutes, posting four points and four rebounds. Two days prior against the Bulls, he played 23 minutes and scored a season high of 12 points — all on 3-pointers. He is averaging 21 minutes and 7.8 points a game so far this season, shooting 37.5 percent.

Marvin Williams 

Williams, who received a warm welcome in the Smith Center for his preseason game with the Charlotte Hornets last month, is nine years younger than Carter. On Saturday vs. the 76ers, Williams played 23 minutes, scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds. He is averaging 24.4 minutes and 7.4 points per game this season, shooting 37 percent. 

Williams is only 82 points away from hitting a milestone 10,000 career points. 

Danny Green

Just 10 years younger than Carter, Green is averaging 10.7 points a game in 30.6 minutes of playing time this season for the Toronto Raptors, while shooting 44.6 percent. On Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks, Green was in for 30 minutes and scored eight points and snagged five rebounds. Just three days prior, against the Dallas Mavericks, Green scored 15 points in 30 minutes. As a Tar Heel, Green played in 107 games and was a part of 89 wins.

Harrison Barnes

Coming in 15 years younger than Carter and proudly sporting “TAR HEEL” in his Twitter bio, Barnes returned to play last Friday against the Toronto Raptors for his first game with the Dallas Mavericks on the season after a hamstring injury. He finished with 14 points and six rebounds, playing 28 minutes.

On Sunday, Barnes played 34 minutes against the Utah Jazz, finishing with seven points and three rebounds. On Monday, he bounced back with an impressive 18 points and seven rebounds in 34 minutes of play.

Justin Jackson

Another NBA player sporting "Tar Heel" in his Twitter bio, Jackson is averaging 27.9 minutes and 8 points per game this season for the Sacramento Kings. 

On Oct. 23 against the Denver Nuggets, the 23-year-old’s impressive performance led to 17 points in 28 minutes. He shot 7-11 from the field and made three 3-pointers, three rebounds, three assists and a block. Jackson has been inconsistent, however. He's shooting just 38.6 percent from the field this season, with his game against the Washington Wizards on Friday, yielding just seven points in 29 minutes, where he was 1-7 from 3-point range. 


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