A picture of Representative Mark Walker
Bradley W.
Republican NC 6

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  • Honoring Coach Dean Smith

    by Representative Mark Walker

    Posted on 2015-02-13

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    WALKER asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.) Mr. WALKER. Mr. Speaker, today, I rise to honor a great man who left his mark--in fact, a legacy--on our State of North Carolina.

    Coach Dean Smith retired as the winningest coach in FBS history, but many will remember Dean Smith as a pioneer in another arena. Dean grew up in a home that valued the inalienable human dignity conferred upon us by our Creator.

    When Coach Alfred Smith, Dean's father, brought a young African American student on to his high school team, he did so against the wishes of the State's athletic association. By speaking truth to power, Alfred Smith stood up for a principle that he knew was right. No doubt this had a profound impact on his son, Dean.

    Years later, Coach Dean Smith helped integrate ACC basketball by recruiting UNC's first African American player, Charlie Scott, in 1966.

    During his tenure, the greatest rivalry in college basketball became Duke and UNC. In fact, Coach K of Duke University said it best: While building an elite program at North Carolina, he was clearly ahead of his time in dealing with social issues. However, his greatest gift was his unique ability to teach what it takes to become a good man. That was easy for him to do because he was a great man himself.

    Thank you, Coach Smith, for your investment into basketball but even more into the lives you touched.


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