UNC grad and freelance photographer Zeke Smith was part of the media contingent that got first glimpse at the new Carolina Basketball Museum. He was nice enough to write about his visit and include some of the photos he took. So thanks to Zeke for the report and photos of the exhibits. The museum is open every weekday 10 am to 4 pm and is located in Ernie Williams Athletics Center. The Williams Center is located on Skipper Bowles Dr next to the Dean Dome and Koury Natatorium.
Media got their first look at the new UNC basketball museum this past Friday, and it is definitely pretty impressive. UNC sports information director Steve Kirschner said they looked at several other team halls of fame, including I believe the Green Bay Packers and some input from the old Blue Heaven Museum. I won't include every detail here but give you guys a general idea of what its like going through and you can take a look at the photo gallery I posted.
The Museum begins by going into a room that can fit about 60 people I would guess and has a large screen in front that displays a great behind-the-scenes video about what a typical game day at UNC is like, and features guest appearances by pretty much all of the UNC greats.
Then you walk out into the main area, and greeting you is the floor from the '05 championship in St. Louis, as well as a picture of Danny Green and Bobby Frasor, who apparently both took their picture with... their picture last week when the team got first look at the Museum.
Then you step out into the wide-open main area and there's enough stuff to keep any Carolina fan occupied for a long, long time. The floor is a 2/3 length replica of the Dean Dome court and there are stands and cases for a lot of important individuals (Dean Smith, Micheal Jordan, etc) as well as more general ones (Big Man Skills, Shooters, etc).
I think the thing that really set the Museum apart, for me, was the vast number of little details that pop up as you walk through. For example, they have sets of shoes put into the floor that represent some of the biggest shots in UNC history,and they even put those in-floor displays on the spot on the floor where that shot would have been taken on a real court.
One of my favorite details - apparently in high school MJ was nicknamed "Magic." Guess he had to go with Air Jordan when that one was already taken.
There's also a March Madness hallway where it has all the postseason hardware UNC has brought home from the NCAA tournament.
All in all, it's definitely worth the time swinging by if you're in town for a game or even just in town visiting people. It's got a lot of great stuff and apparently will be ever-changing. They're working on a database that will be an interactive touch-screen type of thing where you can get game-by-game stats of any UNC player ever and see video footage of them playing. Very impressive.
Feel free to take a look at the rest of the photos on my flickr page at www.flickr.com/photos/zekesmith - If you guys have any questions, don't hesitate to leave them in the comments.
Thanks to THF for letting me guest post! Go Heels!