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UNC Basketball Regional All-Star Teams

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Great Tar Heels have come from all over the country.

Wake Forest v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

As you would expect for the state’s marquee public school, UNC leans in hard to a North Carolina identity. The Tar Heels nickname and the state outline at center court of the basketball arenas are the two of the most prominent identifiers.

However as a basketball brand, UNC is a national one. Players from all over the country and the world have come to Chapel Hill to play for the school. To try and highlight this, I dug through Tar Heel rosters of the past to create regional all-star teams to show just how big a net UNC has managed to cast over the basketball landscape. Here are my personal rankings of the eight teams (four regions, three states, one international) that I’ve put together.

8. International

  • PG: Henrik Rodl
  • SG: Rick Fox
  • SF: Makhtar N’Diaye
  • PF: Ademola Okulaja
  • C: Serge Zwikker

Ok, so we have to put some square pegs in round holes for this very first team. Forgive me if I’m forgetting and/or unaware of a international Tar Heel point guard who I could insert and push Rodl, Fox, and others into some more natural roles. The bench for this team includes the likes of Orlando Melendez and Vasco Evtimov.

7. Florida

  • PG: Joel Berry
  • SG: Jackie Manuel
  • SF: Vince Carter
  • PF: Tony Bradley
  • C: John Henson

In doing this, I noticed that several very notable Tar Heels from recent decades have come out of the sunshine state, so I just threw them all together for their own team. Sixth man Nassir Little rounds out a solid team, but one that’s still a step behind the other six. Henson was born in North Carolina, but played in Florida in high school, hence why he’s here, in case you’re confused.

6. Southwest/West/Rest of the US

  • PG: Ed Cota
  • SG: Justin Jackson
  • SF: Marvin Williams
  • PF: Antawn Jamison
  • C: Scott Williams

Originally, I was going to give the Southwest and the West their own teams, but there’s not enough to make two, so I just grouped them together for a “rest of the country team.” Jamison was thrown in here as a southwest person as he was born in Louisiana, which I counted for them. Meanwhile, Cota, who came out of New York, was counted due to his birth in California. They don’t really have much depth outside Deon Thompson, but it’s a decent starting five at the very least.

5. Southeast

  • PG: Raymond Felton
  • SG: Al Wood
  • SF: George Lynch
  • PF: J.R. Reid
  • C: Brice Johnson

This team is made up of players from the southeast with the exceptions of Florida and another state, which you can probably guess. It’s just an all-around solid squad with some good depth, including the likes of Kendall Marshall, Marcus Ginyard, Brendan Wright, and others.

4. Northeast

  • PG: Ty Lawson
  • SG: Wayne Ellington
  • SF: Mike O’Koren
  • PF: Rasheed Wallace
  • C: George Glamack

Our northeast team is made up of players from Maryland and above, with the exception of one state. (More on that in one second.) It’s a pretty solid squad made up of the ‘09 championship backcourt, a two-time All-American, a a guy with his number retired, and the legend that is Rasheed Wallace. This team arguably has the deepest bench outside our #1 team. Special shoutout to Dave Popson, who would be a backup at the four/five, a graduate of Bishop O’Reilly High School in Kingston, PA, one of four high schools that was merged to created Holy Redeemer in Wilkes-Barre, PA, my alma mater. There are arguments for the Southeast team being higher than them, but I am a bit biased.

3. New York

  • PG: Kenny Smith
  • SG: Charlie Scott
  • SF: Lennis Rosenbluth
  • PF: Mitch Kupchak
  • C: Sam Perkins

The Tar Heels recruited the state pretty hard when they hired St. John’s coach and New York resident Frank McGuire to lead the team, but that’s continued ever since. This team is loaded at the guards as Shammond Williams, Danny Green, Jimmy Black, King Rice, and Cole Anthony make up a strong backcourt bench. Not a ton of depth at the other positions, but the starters there make it a coinflip between them and the team I’ve put at #2.

2. Midwest

  • PG: Marcus Paige
  • SG: Harrison Barnes
  • SF: Jawad Williams
  • PF: Tyler Hansbrough
  • C: Sean May

You probably won’t find a better frontcourt than the team representing the Midwest. Relegated to their bench is an ACC POY in Tyler Zeller, a all-American in Eric Montross, and an all-ACC player in Joe Wolf. You could fiddle some things around to get another from that group in the lineup and move someone to the three, but that would be an odd fit on the court. Good luck trying to win the rebounding battle against these guys.

1. North Carolina

  • PG: Phil Ford
  • SG: Michael Jordan
  • SF: Jerry Stackhouse
  • PF: James Worthy
  • C: Brad Daugherty

This post may have been in part to show just how vast the Tar Heels’ pipeline has gone over the years, but it’s impossible to not put a lineup made of players from the state as the best team. This team includes three Tar Heels who had their numbers retired, with a fourth in Jack Cobb not able to crack the lineup. The second and third stringers for this team could still put together a really strong starting five.


Feel free to let us know what you think the best region for UNC player is, or what lineups you would run out.