Patrick Ewing: Ku Klux Klan rally stopped me from picking UNC
Patrick Ewing is arguably the greatest player in Georgetown basketball history, but what many people may not know is that he was close to becoming a North Carolina Tar Heel. Had it not been for the Ku Klux Klan or some loud creatures of the night, he might have been college teammates with Michael Jordan.
Ewing, who was recently named an associate head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats, spoke to “The Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday about his relationship with Jordan. That led to a question about whether or not he was ever close to committing to UNC.
“I was close,” Ewing said. “North Carolina was a very good school, but 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. I’m like, ‘You know what, I’m not coming down here.’ I’m staying my butt back in Boston.’ ”
However, it wasn’t just the presence of an organized racism rally that soured Ewing on the idea of attending school a bit further south. He also hated the bugs.
“And you know in North Carolina you hear all the crickets,” he said. “They stuck me in that Carolina Inn. At night down in North Carolina it gets pitch black and I hear all the crickets and I’m jumping and I’m like what the heck. So I (decided) I’m going back home.”
Ewing did add that his first choice was always Georgetown and his second choice was UCLA, so the KKK and the crickets may not have completely ruined things for UNC. Considering Ewing remembers it all so vividly, it’s certainly safe to assume it played a major role in his decision.
H/T The Big Lead