CHAPEL HILL - Former University of North Carolina All-America Vince Carter has made a $2.5 million donation to the Carolina Basketball Family Fund, head coach Roy Williams announced on Wednesday.
The gift is the largest to date to the Family Fund, which paid for the renovations of the basketball offices in the Smith Center in 2010 and will support the operating endowment for the men's basketball program for years to come.
Lettermen's Lane, the brick walkway between the Smith Center and the Koury Natatorium, will be named for Carter. This lane honors every varsity player, coach, trainer and manager in the history of Carolina basketball for the role they have played in over a century of the program's success.
"My days as a Carolina student, both pre-NBA and during the summers after I was drafted, will always be special to me," Carter says. "It goes without saying that I am a Tar Heel. For several years, I have been thinking about something I could do to leave a legacy at UNC. Lettermen's Lane is a perfect fit."
Carter played at Carolina from 1995-98, earning All-America and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors while leading the Tar Heels to back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances in 1997 and '98. He left UNC after his junior season and wasan NBA Draft Lottery pick but returned to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree inAfrican Studies in 2001.
One of the most decorated players in NBA history, Carter was the league's 1999 Rookie of the Year and is an eight-time All-Star, leading fan voting three times. He has scored more than 20,000 career points in the NBA and won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic team in 2000.
"I am so pleased that Vince and his family are making such a statement about North Carolina basketball with this gift," says Williams. "I have always known that he loves this University and our basketball team, but now he is showing it in a way that will help us for years to come. He is a remarkable young man and this involvement of he and his family is truly outstanding."
"I want to thank Vince and his family for making this generous donation to the Carolina Basketball Family Fund," athletics director Dick Baddour says. "His gift ensures the longevity of the program and will help guarantee that future Tar Heel players will have the same quality of experience that Vince did at Carolina. We are proud of the career Vince has had in the NBA and for setting the example that he did in coming back to earn his degree."
"Vince Carter continues to be a fine example of what a Carolina student-athlete can achieve," says UNC chancellor Holden Thorp. "His dedication to earning his UNC degree after he had begun his NBA career shows a devotion to his alma mater that extends beyond the basketball court. With this generous donation to the Carolina Basketball Family Fund, Vince secures his legacy as a Tar Heel while creating a place to honor others who have been key to the success of Carolina basketball over the years."