North Carolina Tar Heels fans showed Roy Williams how much they appreciate him by delivering three separate standing ovations, the Tar Heels coach was showered with applause during the opening of preseason practice Friday night.
“Late Night with Roy” was highlighted by the first public appearance of Williams back on the coaching sidelines. North Carolina fans made sure to let him know that’s exactly where they want to see the coach entering his tenth season with the Tar Heels. The fans would give the two time national championship winner, three standing ovations during the evening, demonstrating their love and support for the 62 year old. Williams would wave with appreciation to the crowd on hand, but mostly tried to keep the focus on the players.
It was on Sept. 19 that Williams had surgery to remove a tumor from his kidney, which was followed by a biopsy Oct. 3 to test a tumor in his other kidney. It was ultimately discovered both were benign and Williams is eager to put the focus on the upcoming season.
Still, the support for Williams has been nonstop as the coach admitted to hearing from all his rival ACC coaches. Including, Duke Blue Devils Coach Mike Krzyzewski who called three times and Wake Forest Demon Deacons Coach Jeff Bzdelik who sent Williams some ice cream from Cincinnati.
Through all the support, Williams still tried to keep focus on the team’s 20 minute scrimmage that saw the Blue team defeat the White team 37-27.
The Tar Heels won’t have it easy this season replacing four first round picks in Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, Kendall Marshall and John Henson. However, this night was more about entertaining the fans and breaking in new teammates as members of the Tar Heels broke out into numerous dance routines. Including four freshmen, who put on tutus and performed (or attempted to) ballet to an Adele song.