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October 17, 2009

Tar Heels back to work after Late Night

North Carolina celebrated its basketball program Friday night at its annual 'Late Night with Roy' festivities, as the UNC players and coaches enjoyed a fun evening of skits, video presentations, contests, and then a 20-minute scrimmage, all hosted by ESPN Sportscenter host and 1987 UNC graduate Stuart Scott.

"We always have a great time at Late Night. It's always a chance for us to act up a little bit out there and so we really enjoyed it and we had a really good time," said senior Marcus Ginyard afterwards.

"I'm back on my feet, but other than that it's the same as usual," Ginyard added, who was sidelined during last year's 'Late Night' and after missing almost the entire season was granted a fifth year of eligibility.

The UNC players took center stage following a series of skits and scrimmages by the Tar Heel women's basketball team.

The women's basketball team came on following a victory by the Tar Heel women's volleyball team, which beat Duke in what was undoubtedly their best crowd of the year because of the hoops fans that got to the Smith Center as early as 12:00 pm in the afternoon to secure a good seat for the 4:00 opening of the arena.

The Tar Heel men's players and coaches were announced amidst a memorable scene of flashing pom-poms that sparkled in the Smith Center darkness, the rhythmic beat of North Carolina's percussion band that gave it the air of a home football Saturday, and pyrotechnics worthy of WWE Monday Night Raw.

From there, the Tar Heel players began a series of skits commemorating the school's NCAA title seasons.

The entire team came out in powder blue jumpsuits and Elvis Presley wigs and glasses to celebrate the 1957 championship team, dancing to a montage of Presley favorites such as 'A Little Less Conversation' and 'Burning Love'

Next, the UNC sophomores and juniors came out and did a skit to spoof the Tom Cruise 'Risky Business' scene that was famously re-created by UNC head coach Roy Williams and other Hall of Fame coaches last spring for the 'Guitar Hero' series of video games. That skit was to honor the 1982 championship team.

For the 1993 team, the Tar Heel freshmen did a skit with a song similar to the theme song for "Fresh Prince of Bel Air,' while for the 2005 team, the seniors---Ginyard, Deon Thompson and Marc Campbell---came out in gold suits and hats and did a skit based on Kanye West's popular 'Gold Digger' song.

The program continued by showing a commemorative video of the 2009 NCAA champions and then a humorous spoof 'mock' commercial of the recent Tyler Hansbrough phone commercial, with freshman John Henson dressed as the little girl looking for her dog.

Henson, however, was looking for the NCAA championship trophy, and at the end where in the commercial Hansbrough has the dog for the little girl, there is fellow freshmen David Wear and Travis Wear with the 2009 NCAA trophy.

"Probably the spoof of Tyler Hansbrough's commercial. That was my favorite one," said Ginyard. "That was actually David Wear's idea, so I've got to give him credit for that one."

Following one final team dance that included some dance moves out of Williams and the other UNC coaches, the team engaged in a 20-minute scrimmage, with the 'Blue' team beating the 'White' team, 36-32.

In the scrimmage, junior guard William Graves was one of the scene-stealers with a game-high 12 points for the victorious 'Blue' team, including three three-pointers.

Sophomore forward Ed Davis added to the 'Blue' team's cause with 10 points, while on the White team it was freshmen who led the way.

Henson was the leading scorer on the White team with 10 points, including two blocked shots, while Travis Wear nailed several smooth jumpers from the perimeter on his way to eight points. Deon Thompson added seven rebounds for the White squad.

With the fun and hoopla of 'Late Night' behind them, the Tar Heels got to work in earnest Saturday morning.

As is tradition after 'Late Night,' the Tar Heels got to the Smith Center early and engaged in a morning session on Saturday as it begins its NCAA title defense.

For Ginyard, who was forced into watching last year's title run, this is clearly a very exciting time, and with his last 'Late Night' now in the books, it's time for the fifth-year senior to get started in what he hopes will be another historic season for the Tar Heels.

"Now it's time to get back to work," said Ginyard. "It was good. We just had a good time out there, but we're ready to get in here (Saturday) morning and get to work."

"Coach (Williams) loves it. He obviously has a great time out there as well," Ginyard added. "He knows just as well as we do that tomorrow is the real day that we're celebrating, and we're just excited to get back to work."




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