Last May, we learned that the inevitable was happening. Tyler Hansbrough was going to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
Last night, it finally took place.
Hansbrough was joined in the induction ceremony by Johnny Dawkins, Tom Konchalski, Herb Magee, and Mike Krzyzewski.
The ceremony was hosted by ESPN college basketball analyst Sean Farnham. He sat with Hansbrough and asked him about his career and what made him successful. Hansbrough was thoughtful in his reply, saying:
“Going to UNC was probably the smartest decision I’ve made in my life so far. To be surrounded by Coach Williams and his staff, great teammates, and legendary players that came back. Sean May, Marvin Williams, those guys in the summer used to come back, train with us, beat us up in pick-up. A lot of our success had to do with those guys, as well.”
Hansbrough’s personal achievements are many, but what he’ll be remembered for most with UNC fans was winning. There was worry after Roy Williams won the 2005 national championship and the nucleus of that team departed for the NBA. Those fears quickly evaporated with Hansbrough and his freshmen classmates came to campus and got up to speed quickly. They eventually made it to two Final Fours and a triumphant national championship in 2009 over Michigan State at Ford Field, Detroit.
Coach K, in retirement, has become slightly less insufferable. When he came up last to be interviewed, he gave tremendous credit to both Hansbrough and Johnny Dawkins and how young players today should emulate their attitudes and work ethics. He later said, “I didn’t like being with that guy (points to Hansbrough), we usually lost with that guy, but we usually won when we were with that guy (points to Dawkins).”
K was right about Hansbrough, who was 6-2 against the Blue Devils, but was wrong about Dawkins, who finished his career 3-6 against Carolina. Maybe he was talking about his record overall, but you can never tell with him.
Congratulations to Tyler Hansbrough from the Carolina family!