Georgetown and Knicks great Patrick Ewing says on UNC recruiting trip, area was hosting KKK rally
Ewing said he was considering teaming up with Michael Jordan and Dean Smith in Chapel Hill, but Klan rally at hotel was a deal breaker.
By Daniel O’leary / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Patrick Ewing, a North Carolina Tar Heel?
Hard to imagine, we know. But when you hear the Georgetown legend’s reasoning for not picking the Tar Heels, it would be hard to knock him for not teaming up with Michael Jordan under head coach Dean Smith.
Ewing appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” and explained why he didn’t head to Chapel Hill.
“You know, I was close [to attending UNC]. I was close. North Carolina was a very good school but, you know, when I went down there they put me in that Carolina Inn and there was a big Ku Klux Klan rally in North Carolina when I was there,” Ewing said. “And I’m like, ‘You know what? I’m not coming down here. I’m staying my butt back in Boston.’”
“So the reason why you didn’t go (to UNC), or the major reason, is the KKK had a rally going on at the time?” Patrick asked.
“Big rally man. I was like… They stuck me in that Carolina Inn. And at night down in North Carolina it gets pitch black and I hear all the crickets and I’m jumping, I’m like ‘what the heck?’ I said, ‘Nah, I’m going home.’”
Ewing said that Georgetown was his first choice and his second choice was UCLA. And even that Hall of Fame Tar Heels coach Dean Smith advised him to go to Georgetown if he was not going to pick North Carolina.
The former Knicks center was named associate head coach of the Charlotte franchise recently. The Bobcats, who are in the middle of switching their name back to the Hornets, are owned by Ewing’s long time friend Michael Jordan.
Ewing has publicly stated his desire to be a head coach in the NBA.
After Jason Kidd was named head coach of the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday, the Hall of Famer’s son, Patrick Ewing Jr. tweeted: “For real though I’m mad J Kidd got a head coaching job a year after retiring n my pops been coaching 10 years n barely gets a look.”