Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Basketball Contest

Posted March 26, 2008

More prizes today. First, predict the men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament Final Four and win a great book. Plus, win a DVD by telling us the best basketball story you know!

Which team will win the men’s NCAA basketball tournament in San Antonio and what will the score be? Be sure to name the second place team and the other two Final Four squads.

The person getting closest to the correct answers will win a copy of Literary Trails of the North Carolina Mountains by Georgann Eubanks. The deadline for entering is this evening Wednesday, March 26 at 7:00P.M.

Also, the person who tells the best basketball story will win a copy of my Emmy nominated DVD “Peaceful Journey.”

My favorite basketball stories involve two people from Morganton. Burgess McSwain was a chief academic counselor for the UNC basketball team until her death four years ago due to cancer. Several years older Burgess barked orders when I was a child playing army games in my Morganton neighborhood. Burgess was tough but fun. Later she ordered the UNC players to study hard and stay in school and did a marvelous job with the Tar Heel athletes. Everyone from Michael Jordan to Rashad McCants absolutely adored Burgess. Every time I look at the autographed photographs of Dean Smith, Roy Williams and Michael Jordan on my bookcase I think of Burgess and how much I loved her as well. I have included a link to a more detailed story about Burgess.

Martin Champion was my favorite high school coach. What a great name for a coach – Champion. He wasn’t the typical “Coach Cuss" of the era. He motivated by encouragement and humor. I loved playing for Coach Champion. He really liked my jump shot but made me realize I had “a long row to hoe” on defense. I would sprint across hot coals for Coach Champion. I don’t know where he is today but maybe someone knows and will tell him how much I appreciated him.

Ben McKeown has captured a great basketball story in a WRAL Multimedia presentation. Please check out Ben’s slideshow of the Wakefield High School Girl’s basketball team which finished the season with a remarkable 31-1 record. Their theme was “We, Not Me.” Wakefield lost only to Fayetteville Westover in the East Regional Championship.

Now, let’s hear your great basketball stories!


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  • 2thebeach Mar 26, 2008

    Carolina, Davidson, UCLA and Memphis, with Carolina taking it over Memphis 93 to 87.

  • goBRO Mar 26, 2008

    (UNC-TX-UCLA-KU) Not even close, my shot will never be that far away. ACC Seniors annually traveled to high school gyms. Tonight, they were at the local gym, a bike-ride and a few cornfields from my house. Dad and I were seated on the bottom bleacher, as Duke's Kevin Strickland laced 'em up and NC State's Vinny Del Negro stood to enter the court. Boy, I thought, tv heroes...just feet away. A ball lands at my feet, right where my toes meet the end of my shoes. With a "Who lost this" blank look amongst a number of owners, I notice UNC's Curtis Hunter eyeing me. "Shoot it," he says, "shoot it." Without hesitation and with a high-paced heartbeat, I mustered all I could muster to get the ball in the air. Hunter, just left of the lane, under the eastern goal...I, behind the 3-point line, from where I air-balled my first memorable shot. Memories of a hero, and memories of my dad. My shot came up short. That night, my memory of my hero and my dad never will. Jay, Holly Springs

  • me130 Mar 26, 2008

    Carolina, Davidson, Xavier, Texas

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