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Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14

Via Larry Brown Sports:

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.

PLAYERS: Patrick Ewing
26 Comments:
  • Just curious. He lives in North Carolina now - the bugs haven't changed. Maybe the KKK haven't changed either. Sounds like a short stay for him in Charlotte??? Seems obvious he changed his mind if he's now a North Carolina resident. A very high profile North Carolina resident. The article didn't address his change of heart. I don't know anything about the state of North Carolina so this was a confusing article indeed.
  • In your attempt to be smart, witty and snarky you failed. Charlotte is no where close to Chapel Hill. Pay attention in Geography class.
  • Charlotte is certainly a lot closer to Chapel Hill than Boston is. He is acting like they do not have crickets or other bugs in Massachusets. What a major league whimp!
    As for the geography lesson, Charlotte is about 3 1/2 to 4 hours away from Chapel Hill. Not near as far as you think it is. All you have to do is get on I-85 and you are there in no time.
  • Why do you have to be nasty and hateful?
  • True he's in Carolina & the bugs are the same as well as the KKK...

    However, I doubt he's staying at the Carolina Inn & I bet the neighborhood he lives in has better security that the Carolina Inn

    & I'm I pretty sure he has a little more money for an exterminator than he did in his College days..
  • The bugs haven't changed. As for the Klan, they are probably still around but don't get the attention they once did. I grew up in NC back in the 50's and 60's. They were worse than the bugs. You couldn't kill them.
  • How could Patrick nEwing be afraid of bugs? He's a country boy from the woods in Jamaica where bugs are plentyful, much more than NC. I don't get it. He talks too much. And now he wants to go back? Gimme a break.
  • He was BORN in Jamaica but was grew up in Cambridge, Mass across the Charles River from Boston.
  • the article is pointless..........
  • ...making your comment even less so.
  • Sorry, but I don't believe Patrick Ewing on this. "There was a big Ku Kux Klan rally in North Carolina while I was there." Huh? So this high school student from Mass. hears about a Klan rally somewhere in North Carolina. While he is there. I wonder how he heard about this "Klan rally". Maybe John Thompson was in his ear? Nah... Couldn't be. Because John Thompson would have no motive to get a hot prospect to come play for his basketball team. Couldn't be that.
  • I was offered a scholarship to Georgia Tech and after having come down there from Ohio and been openly discriminated against in a restaurant by the all white staff, I went back north. So yes, a klan rally would be very off-putting to any intelligent young person making a decision like that.This happened to me at around the same time Ewing would have had his expeerience. I live in Texas now, and a few degrees and much better income makes putting up with the terminally stupid much easier.
  • Wow borisspasky you are IGNORANT!!!!!
    You've never heard of the Greensboro Massacre!?!...which was at that time - people were killed during a KKK rally less than 30 miles from UNC.
    You'd have to be blind and deaf not to hear about KKK rallies in North Carolina which happened EVERY WEEK!
  • Simple...young and being put in an Inn is a lot different than being mature, rich and living in a mansion. I would think many Inn's have bugs and I'm sure his house does not.
  • I would have changed my mind also if the University that is supposed to be interested in me, gets me a room at the Carolina Inn! So what if he was just a high school grad at that time? He can tell between clean and YUKKK! No wonder it was very dark and buggy. The KKK wouldn't have changed my decision though. By the way, I'm from NC (the part that is beautiful and not buggy).
  • I don't beleive Patrick, Ku Kux Klan rally in North Carolina, NO WAY !!!
  • "put me in that Carolina Inn and there was a big Ku Klux Klan rally"

    They put him in the Carolina Inn? More likely he was offered a few more $$$ under the table to go north but the KKK story sounds better than a payoff.
  • Yes - KKK rallies happened in that part of NC very often then.

    Look up the Greensboro Massacre, in which PEOPLE WERE KILLED during a KKK rally one year before Ewing would have been there.

    The KKK still has a strong presence in NC.
  • What's most likely is that you are an uneducated ignoramus - In fact you've proven it by disputing facts with your own lies.
  • LOL...Those would be cicadas, Patrick...not crickets...nor are they 'southern', they're also found in Boston and Washington, DC...and although they can be loud (I happen to find the sound pleasing)...they are not so distracting as to have made us overlook or forget the thousands of white Bostonians lining the streets to hurl bricks and profanities at the school buses trying to bring black kids into the white neighborhoods in 1974...but without the white sheets.
  • The press and Mr.Ewing know that if you mention the K.K.K. then they can get attention.I am sick of hearing about the K.K.K. who are now so small that they don't hardly even matter.Why does Mr.Ewing not say anything about the black panther party and the Muslims who are more hateful than the Klan.
  • People like you kill me. How can you even compare the black panther party and the Muslims as you say to the KKK. The same klan the has burned down homes, killed scores of men, women and children mostly African-Americans among others. I don't remember the BPP ever killing people. The Muslims killed people, please. The Panthers were their to protect certain areas from police harassment. You really need to read more. You probably believe George Washington was a great man and Lincoln really freed indentured African-Americans. Please, do some research. You don't seem too stupid. They have put a stain on American History that can never be erased, but we can all learn from.
  • This article seems like nothing more than "Larry Brown Sports" effort to influence high school basketball prospects to avoid UNC. To begin, UNC wasn't even Ewing's first or second choice. He dislikes bugs and crickets? Larry Brown Sports, are you serious? HE'S FROM JAMAICA!!! Hello, ever been to the tropics? Larry Brown Sports must think it's readers are morons. Otherwise, they'd know Dean Smith was instrumental in breaking the racial sports barrier in college basketball -and he had the death threats to prove it!!! Come on Larry Brown Sports readers and potential UNC basketball prospects, exercise a little intelligence!
  • The KKK and Neo Nazi's that killed people in Greensboro about the time Ewing was down there didn't wear white sheets either.
    ...but they did shoot at the police and kill people in broad daylight.
    ...it's called the Greensboro Massacre.
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