In honor of the North Carolina vs North Carolina State hate fest which is taking over the interwebs, today's Baller's Almanac features a player from each school. Of course, it was two years ago today that Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati) was arrested for pushing his girlfriend – and mother of his child – down a flight of stairs. So we could all hold hands and hate on him, right?
Kenny Carr was born on this day in 1955, in Washington, D.C. Carr was primarily a football player growing up, but he out-grew the sport. "It was kind of by accident, to be honest, but I just fell in love with basketball,'' he says. "Plus, back in those days, it was kind of tough to find football shoes that would fit me, to tell the truth. That was one of the reasons I didn't want to play.''
As a high school senior Carr attended the NCAA Regionals hosted by NC State. Wolfpack star David Thompson tripped during the game, and for a minute lay motionless on the floor. He was immediately taken to the hospital.
In the 2nd half of the game, Thompson re-entered the Arena, and as soon as Carr heard the roar he knew where he was going to college.
He played with Thompson his freshman season, while Thompson led the ACC in scoring for the 3rd consecutive season. After he left, Carr then led the ACC for two straight years – meaning that players from one school led the ACC in scoring in five straight seasons, a feat which has never been repeated.
Carr also played in the 1976 Olympics, winning a gold medal. "As far as I am concerned," he said, "our team won the last legitimate gold medal there was for the United States. In 1980, we boycotted Russia. In 1984, they boycotted us. In 1988, we lost it (to Yugoslavia). And in 1992, we started the Dream Team.''
It's Darrell Elston's 60th birthday, born in Tipton, Indiana. Elston chose to attend North Carolina, though he rarely came off the bench until he was a junior. But then he moved into the starting line-up and averaged 10 points and 3 assists. Elston had a great senior-season breakout. He increased his PPG to 15.3 and his APG to 5.6 on the way to 2nd-team All-ACC honors. To fuel the Midwest stereotype, Elston was a terrific shooter; he made over 50% of his field goals and 83% of his foul shots as a Heel.
Other birthdays include: Chuck Grigsby 1928 (Dayton), Stephen Vacendak 1944 (Duke), Mervin Jackson 1946 (Utah), John Arthurs 1947 (Tulane), Bob Wilkerson 1954 (Indiana), Ralph Jackson 1962 (UCLA), David Harrison 1982 (Colorado), and Larry O'Bannon 1983 (Louisville).