Dear UNC Basketball,
Thank you for four amazing years of endless dedication, laughter, tears and lifelong memories. Thank you for teaching me about how basketball fouls work and showing me what it truly feels like to be emotionally invested in a sports game. But most of all, thank you for letting me rush Franklin Street six times in my college career.
Before I came to UNC, you and I were distant friends. Only connecting when convenient, but always enjoying the time to catch up. But as soon as I went to my first basketball game against Maryland in December of my first year here, I knew our connection would be one for the books.
We’ve had some ups and downs. My first year, we went to the national championship only to lose by a buzzer-beating shot. The mood on campus the next was unlike any other day on campus (only second to the day after the 2016 election) — everyone just going through the motions under a cloudy, gray sky.
But then, the next year, you came back and proved the nation wrong by winning the national championship and rocking the state of North Carolina. Every time I see one of the highway signs that says “North Carolina Tar Heels 2017 College Basketball Men’s National Champions” I’m brought back to the national championship. That night, I truly thought I was going to get lost forever in the 55,000 people who rushed Franklin Street, but honestly, it would’ve been an okay way to go.
Whenever I see those signs, I’m also reminded that they will stay up at least until next March, since (in case you missed it) Duke just got bumped out of the tournament.
As I end my time at UNC, I leave knowing that I can always look back on my times cheering on the team or running to Franklin Street so quickly I almost die and know that these memories are being created for every UNC student behind me.
Thank you for creating a sense of community unparalleled by anything else. Every time I see someone in Carolina gear, I know I can bring up Roy Williams and create an instant connection.
Most importantly, thank you for teaching me how to put all your entire soul into hating Duke.
A distraught, but thankful graduating senior