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DPS: Crickets and the Klan kept Ewing from becoming a Heel

Jun 15, 2013, 10:30 PM EDT

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In 1982, Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan were freshman phenoms, and they ended up playing in the national title game against one another. Ewing for Georgetown, and Jordan for North Carolina. At this point, it’s impossible to imagine either man in a different uniform. Ewing in gray, Jordan in blue.

According to a Thursday interview with Dan Patrick, Ewing seriously considered becoming a Heel. Most recruits who make the trip to hoops-mad Carolina will say the visit sealed the deal. For Ewing, his down-south journey had the opposite effect.

“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.’  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.”

Watch the rest of the interview here:

  1. beaverdam21 - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    This is a very interesting piece of information. Many college fans will never forget that Ewing-Jordan, Smith-Thompson championship game, where Ewing was under orders to try to set an intimidating tone right away, blocking every shot for the first few minutes, goaltend or no, and where later not only did Jordan hit the winning shot, but Eric Floyd (I believe) threw the ball to James Worthy, both I believe products of Gastonia, NC.

    Does anybody remember a big Klan rally there at that time, in Chapel Hill??? I was there in late 70’s and there was a big buzz about a “rally” which I think was in Raleigh. There were roughly 7 old goat guys in sheets and about 1,500 press and counterdemonstrators from around the world. If they were going to have one a few years later, it doesn’t make sense to me that they would have it in Chapel Hill, or that it would be “huge.” Anybody have any info/recollections on this incident??

    Regardless, I had no idea he was close to going there. Would have been great. Many people have commented that for all their good teams UNC really never had a big presence inside til Peppers came along, and then he decided to stick with football.

  2. kingghidora - Jun 16, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    If a white player said something about avoiding a school because of a Black Panther rally he would have been boiled in oil by now. I just wonder if Ewing thought there weren’t any racists in Washington.

  3. r3alta1k - Jun 16, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    @kingg. are you seriously comparing the Klan to the Black Panther Party…The Klan raped, shot ,hung, beat, intimidated, and other activities in the name of hate to blacks for years…The BPP attempted to protect, aid, feed, the black community with some success. Do your homework on history…

  4. mrtreyseven - Jun 16, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    sad part about this, the Klan are still having rallys in the South and its 2013…Northerners don’t really understand it they see it on TV and its very intimidating especially for African Americans, but when you grow up hearing bout that stuff, learning the do’s and donts and not letting anyone restrict your rights living in fear becomes an after thought, because then you come to realize that a bunch of out of shape bigots running the show so you have no reason to fear

  5. seanb20124 - Jun 16, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Black Panther party is about peace. The exception being the wanted dead or alive poster regarding George Zimmerman.

  6. beaverdam21 - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    BPP did run some clinics, but the names Rush, Seal, and a few others don’t exactly conjure up peace and love. Wasn’t one of their leaders convicted of murder??

  7. thraiderskin - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    The Black Panther party was/is and always will be about intimidation… I don’t want to hear the peace crap. The only difference between the Pathers and the Klan is skin color… As far as economical and social politics (not to include race) they pratically mirror each other in goal.
    @mrtrayseven… We (the north)don’t understand the whole rally thing very well, but it isn’t all kittens and puppies up here either, our racists just don’t parade around, probably can’t figure out the process for doing so.

  8. r3alta1k - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    @raiderskin how many people did the BBP kill, hang, or rape…how are they the same..the klan was way more impactful on their efforts to demoralize those of different color and push their agenda with the support of government and locals…what power, what impact did the BBP make that allows you to talk about tgem as equivalent to the Klan…REALLY DO YOUR HOMEWORK

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