I shot basketball on Sunday, over at the General Greene School and got the chance to try out the new basketball goals, with the outdoor glass backboards….That outdoor glass is hard to get used to, with the sun peering in on one end and the depth perception is hard to get used to also….The new goals are too high and I’m sure those elementary kids will get a good workout, trying to hoist the ball up to those goals….I left General Greene at the conclusion of the shooting and shot a few on the Forest Valley goals and could tell a huge difference in the heights….General Greene is much higher and there is nothing like the outdoor wooden/sheet metal backboards/goals…..
One of my old buddies, from the outdoor court days, stopped by to shoot a few at General Greene and he was telling me stories about the days back in Chapel Hill, when he used to shoot and play pick-up ball all day long, in Woollen Gym….
He was from Chapel Hill and would be in there at Woollen Gym playing ball from 9am till 6 in the evening, with all the names coming in there and he had some names, that brought back some memories….
Going back to Woollen Gym you had Michael Jordan, Phil Ford, Dave Colescott, Cecil Exum, Warren Martin, Kenny Smith, Johnny Dawkins from Duke, David Henderson from Duke and David Henderson from Duke was the only man that could check Michael Jordan……..
Going back to Woollen Gym you also had Jimmy Black, Jimmy Braddock, Curtis Hunter, Sam Perkins, James Worthy, Ralph Sampson from Virginia, Chuck Nevitt from N.C. State, Willie Glass from St. Johns, Vinny Del Negro from N.C. State and the list goes on and on……Ed Cota, George Lynch, David Noel, Eric Montross, Kim Hubband, Darrell Eggleston, Gearld Tuggle, Ged Doughton, Rich Yonaker, Ed Stahl, Bill Chamberlin, Bill Chambers, Bill Bunting, Dick Grubar, Charles Waddell, Charlie Scott, that list of those who came through the summer games at Woollen Gym goes on and on and on….
My basketball buddy said those were the days and to him, “Going Back to Woollen Gym”, those were the best days of his life……..Hanging out in Dean Smith’s office, running 5 on 5, or 2 on 2, or 3 on 3, it was the place to be……
A little history on the Woollen Gym from www.wikipedia.org:
Woollen Gymnasium was the home of the University of North Carolina’s physical education classes from 1937 and the North Carolina Tar Heels men’s basketball from early 1938. The Gymnasium was named after Charles T. Woollen, Class of 1905. The Tar Heels played there until Carmichael Auditorium was built in 1965 as an annex which shares the Gymnasium’s eastern wall. North Carolina won the 1957 national championship while playing there.
The Gymnasium is still in use today, hosting classes and intramural events, as well as providing room for the Roy Williams Basketball Camp in the summer. The old section numbers and ticket windows are still visible.