Basketball players

Former UNC basketball players tweet how proud they are of this team

In the 2022 National Championship, UNC left it all on the field in a narrow 69-72 loss to the Kansas Jayhawks, and the former Tar Heels couldn’t be prouder.

Although UNC lost what could have been its seventh national championship title by a narrow margin, everyone with Chapel Hill ties agrees on this point: the 2021-22 team played a tournament amazing, and they should be proud of their performance.

Former Tar Heels shared their thoughts on social media, with many former UNC basketball players offering words of comfort and wisdom in what was a heartbreaking loss for North Carolina.

The Tar Heels, who were up 16 points at one point in the first half, entered the half leading with 40-25 on the scoreboard. Kansas nearly overturned the second half in their favor, going 47-29 as UNC’s offense and defense faltered due to injury.

Yet viewers saw a team that went above and beyond to the point of vomiting, and North Carolina alumni didn’t lose sight that this team possessed something special despite the loss.

Former UNC Tar Heels share sympathy and pride on social media

Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes was once a UNC Tar Heel himself, having a stellar rookie season in 2010. Barnes was the ACC Rookie of the Year and scored 84 points at the 2010 NCAA Tournament, the most of all freshmen at UNC up to this point. Barnes won an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, which is why when Barnes says this team makes the Carolina family proud, it means something.

Former sniper Justin Watts played alongside Barnes, winning the 2009 NCAA championship the year before he arrived. Watts has played professional basketball all over the world, most recently in the Netherlands. Watts praised UNC for how they left it all on the floor, giving alumni the experience of seeing excellence on the job.

Orlando Magic point guard Cole Anthony only spent a year at UNC, but playing basketball there shaped him before entering the 2020 NBA Draft. Today, Anthony is happy to be a Tar Heel forever, congratulating this year’s warriors on a good fight.

Sterling Manley, a former Heels big man who just finished his first professional basketball contract with the Sichuan blue whales in China, reiterated that UNC had nothing to say – they still finished a fantastic season overall.

Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson plays for one of the best teams in the country, just like his brother, Puff Johnson, played for the UNC Tar Heels. Cameron, who himself played for the Tar Heels from 2017 to 2019, said in an Instagram Story that “proud is an understatementregarding his feelings about his younger brother’s team.

Former Tar Heels football players also shared their pride, with former Tar Heels linebacker turned country singer Chase Rice expressing his pride.

And North Carolina legend Julius Peppers, a former Tar Heels defensive end and forward who remains the only athlete to play in the Final Four and Super Bowl, said what UNC accomplished this year was “nothing less than incredible”.

While championship losses are always tough — just ask the UNC Twitter account — having the admiration and support of former Heels greats at least reminds the Tar Heels that this was a winning list despite the score.