Fresh over their March Madness win, the National Champion North Carolina Tar Heels men’s basketball team was honored at the NC General Assembly Wednesday. In a joint session, the House and Senate gathered to honor the accomplishment.
House Joint Resolution 921, Honor UNC Men’s Basketball 2017 Championship, was passed, declaring, “The General Assembly expresses the appreciation and admiration of the people of North Carolina to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill men’s basketball team for winning the 2017 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Championship.”
The resolution also mentions each member of the team as well as head coach Roy Williams and his staff members, recognizing their “perseverance, teamwork, and ensuing triumph.” It directs the NC Secretary of State to send copies of the resolution to the team and coaching staff, and to Athletic Director Lawrence “Bubba” Cunningham and Chancellor Carol L. Folt.
Williams addressed the joint session, urging lawmakers to work together for the good of the state. Mixing humor with some serious talk, Williams joked that he understands now why it’s hard to get things done in the General Assembly with so many people standing up to talk. More seriously, Williams said, “My team made sacrifices towards a common goal, and that’s what I would ask you folks to do.”
Williams continued, “I’m not a politician, never will be. I’m very impressed with what you do, but I want no part of it. I ask you to reach across the aisle and do what you can in particular for education in our state.”
Williams thanked the gathered lawmakers for honoring his team and for the nice words that had been said about them and about him personally.
Williams concluded by saying that his group truly was a team and “that’s what we want you folks to be, not just to be, but to continue to be, is a team for our great state. We need your help in a lot of ways, we need you to reach across the aisle and work together as a team.”
Speaker of the NC House Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) said, “These players represented their school, their state and the citizens of North Carolina with extraordinary heart and determination on the court while completing one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of college sports.”
After the House passed the joint resolution, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest took the gavel and presided over the Senate hearing that also passed the resolution.
— Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (@LtGovDanForest) May 3, 2017
Williams and the team also went to the Governor’s mansion for a time of special recognition with Gov. Roy Cooper.