North Carolina basketball recruit Jason Parker learned Monday that he did not qualify academically to become a Tar Heel this season.
The West Charlotte star will attend Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia.
``It's disappointing,'' Parker told the Charlotte Observer. ``I was looking forward to going (to Chapel Hill) this year. I'll just go to Fork Union and work hard and, hopefully, this year will go by fast and I will get my (grades) up while I'm there.''
UNC coach Bill Guthridge will reportedly honor the scholarship offered to Parker following his year at prep school. Parker will have four years of eligibility remaining after this year.
``In the long run this may be better for him," Jason's father Jesse said. "It may give him a better start in life. The last two years have gone really fast, and this will help him be better prepared to get his degree from Chapel Hill. We don't just want him to attend Chapel Hill. We want him to finish Chapel Hill and be prepared to do his studies well and be on the team.''
Parker, 6-8, 265-pound power forward, averaged 19.9 points and 11.5 rebounds during the '98-99 season.
Parker was blunt on his academic situation.
"If I had to do it again, I would've spent more time in the books and studied a little bit harder,'' he said. ``If there's another Jason Parker reading this, I'd tell him to do well in school and have fun at the same time, but remember school comes first. You have to stay serious about your books.''
Tar Heels to Meet Cincinnati in Great 8
The University of North Carolina men's basketball team will face Cincinnati on Wednesday, December 8, in the Great Eight Basketball Classic in Chicago's United Center. Gametime is 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The game will be the last of four games in this year's Great Eight, sponsored by Raycom and ESPN. ESPN will televise the game nationally.
Carolina defeated Louisville in December 1997 in the Great Eight in Chicago.
Other matchups in this year's event include Michigan State vs. Kansas and Connecticut vs. Arizona on Tuesday, Dec, 7, and Temple vs. Gonzaga on Dec. 8.
Carolina's full 1999-2000 schedule will released by the Atlantic Coast Conference in August. Games already announced include the Maui Classic on November 22-23-24, Michigan State in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge in Chapel Hill on December 1, College of Charleston and either Princeton or UNLV in the Food Lion MVP Classic in Charlotte on December 3 and 4, and Indiana in the Jimmy V Classic in East Rutherford, N.J., on December 21st.
Heels Meet Miami in Orange Bowl Basketball Classic
UNC men's basketball head coach Bill Guthridge participated in a media teleconference on Wednesday to discuss this year's HIP Health Plan Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, in which the Tar Heels will face the University of Miami.
The tournament, held on Dec. 18, will be expanded to a triple-header for the first time this year. The other games are Florida State vs. UMass and Florida International vs. St. Bonaventure.
The HIP Health Plan Orange Bowl Basketball Classic will be held at the National Car Rental Center (capacity 20,184) in Fort Lauderdale. Game times and television coverage are still TBA.
The Orange Bowl has also added a women's basketball tournament this year. On Dec. 19, the Orange Bowl Women's Basketball Fab Four will feature Miami vs. NC State and Florida International vs. Notre Dame. The event will be hosted by Florida International at Golden Panther Arena.
Tar Heel Hoops to Play Host to Michigan State
The University of North Carolina will play host to Michigan State University on Wednesday, December 1st, in the inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference/Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Challenge. The Tar Heels and Spartans will meet in the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.
The game will be televised by ESPN at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
Carolina was 24-10 last year and finished third in the ACC. The Tar Heels advanced to the championship game in the ACC Tournament, but were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the opening round. Michigan State won the Big Ten title and advanced to the national semifinals where it fell to top-ranked Duke.
The Tar Heels have won five of six meetings alltime against the Spartans. The teams last met in the 1998 NCAA East Region semifinal in Greensboro. Carolina defeated Michigan State, 73-58, and advanced to the Final Four.
This will be the first meeting between the two schools in Chapel Hill since the Tar Heels edged the Spartans, 70-69, on Dec. 16, 1978. Michigan State, led by Magic Johnson, went on to win the national title that year.
Carolina's entire 1999-2000 schedule will be released by the ACC in August. This is the second game against a Big Ten opponent for the Tar Heels. Carolina will play Indiana on December 21st, 1999, in East Rutherford, N.J., in the Jimmy V Classic.
Dean Smith Named One of Seven Greatest Alltime Coaches
Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith is one of seven coaches featured on ESPN's SportsCentury "Greatest Coaches of the Century" show which will be televised Saturday, May 22, at 2 p.m. on ABC Sports. Chris Berman will anchor the two-hour program that focuses on the greatest coaches of the century, as voted by the SportsCentury panel. The panel consists of 48 distinguished observers from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
Smith will be featured along with Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics (pro basketball), Bear Bryant of the Alabama Crimson Tide (college football), George Halas of the Chicago Bears (professional football), Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers (professional football), John McGraw of the New York Giants (major league baseball) and John Wooden of the UCLA Bruins (college basketball).
The show will include highlights and interviews with people who came in contact with these coaches and will also feature 75 other great coaches from this past century. At the conclusion of the show the coach voted "the greatest of the century" will be disclosed. _______________________________________________________
Tar Heels and Hoosiers Meet in Jimmy V Classic
The University of North Carolina men's basketball team will play Indiana University on December 21st, 1999, in the Jimmy V Classic at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J.
The UNC-Indiana game will be the first game of a doubleheader televised by ESPN that also matches Florida and Rutgers. Proceeds will benefit The V Foundation, a charitable organization based in Cary, N.C., dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer. The V Foundation was founded by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano.
This will be the first meeting between the two programs since the Tar Heels defeated the Hoosiers, 106-92, on Nov. 25, 1988, in the consolation finals of the Preseason NIT in New York City.
The teams have met just nine times with Indiana holding a 5 to 4 advantage. The schools have played just five times in the last two decades (UNC won regular season games in 1979-80 and 1980-81 and the Preseason NIT game in 1988-89; Indiana beat the Tar Heels in the 1980-81 NCAA final and in 1983-84 in an NCAA Tournament regional semifinal).
Carolina's entire 1999-2000 mens basketball schedule will be released by the Atlantic Coast Conference in mid-August. _______________________________________________________
Okulaja Top Senior, MVP
Senior forward Ademola Okulaja was named Most Valuable Player and Most Outstanding Senior at the University of North Carolina's annual postseason men's basketball awards banquet, held Tuesday night at the Dean E. Smith Center.
Okulaja, a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, led the Tar Heels with 13.9 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game, 46 steals and 59 three-point field goals. Okulaja finished his career with 1,254 points, 890 rebounds, 327 assists and 175 steals. He never missed a practice or a game. Okulaja played in 139 contests in his four-year career, one shy of the school record. The Tar Heels won 107 games, two ACC championships and advanced to a pair of Final Fours in his career.
Okulaja also was named team captain, received the Foy Roberson Award given to the Most Inspirational Player and received the Jimmie Dempsey Award as the team's overall statistical leader.
Other award winners include: senior Brad Frederick (Scholar-Athlete Award); senior Scott Williams (Rick Sharp Award for most behind-the-scenes contributions); Kris Lang (Butch Bennett Award to the top freshman and the Herb C. and Pauline Wall Award to the team's top screener), and sophomore Brendan Haywood (the Carmichael Cobb Award to the best defensive player).
Statistical winners also included Okulaja as the top rebounder, junior Ed Cota for assists, Haywood for charges drawn, blocked shots and best field goal percentage shooter, and freshman Jason Capel as the team's top free throw shooter.
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