Britt: 'North Carolina Was My Dream School'

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- As Nate Britt and teammate Tavon Blackman took a seat at center court during Gonzaga Mania on Tuesday night, a hush fell over the crowd inside Carmody Gym.

In an interview modeled after the infamous LeBron James "Decision" from the summer of 2010, Blackman played the role of Jim Gray, building his way up to the highly anticipated announcement.

"Here's the final question I think everyone wants to know," said Blackman. "Where will you be taking your talents in 2013?"

"Well," said Britt, reaching into his gym bag, "I've decided that I'm going to take my talents to the University of North Carolina." And with that the junior standout pulled the Carolina blue brim over a radiant smile.

While the crowd erupted in cheers, Britt's coach and family gathered with the All-Metro point guard at center court to pose for pictures with the Heels' newest addition.

It turns out Britt had envisioned this moment for quite some time. "They [UNC] have got a lot of history and growing up, North Carolina was my dream school," Britt said. "So, once they offered, it was pretty much me making sure it was the right fit for me."

In the end the combination of playing for his dream school and a favorite coach was just too much to pass up. "That might've been one of the greatest moments of my life to know that the coach I've grown up watching, who is one of my favorite coaches, has offered me a scholarship," Britt said of Roy Williams. "Pretty much after making some calls to Coach Williams, we built our relationship up and after we talked a couple of times I felt like he was the right coach for me."

Many assumed the ultimate decision came down to two ACC schools, but Britt explained it was a West Coast school that made a push. "It was pretty much between Carolina and Arizona," he said. "It was a really tough decision between those two. And the third choice I would say was Maryland."

Britt's decision to attend UNC was not only the realization of a dream for the young guard, but also for his father. Nate Britt Sr., a North Carolina native and lifelong Heels fan, had a hard time articulating his excitement. "Oh man, it's just amazing. It's really amazing," he said. "Especially in the situation where you think he can go and actually contribute at some place where he wants to go. You can't even put it in words."

As for Roy Williams, the legendary coach was able to convince the Britt family that UNC was the right program for the young star. "After Coach Williams watched me this summer, we talked about their style of play and they like a more up-tempo game and he saw that's my style of play," said Britt.

More importantly, noted Britt, Williams and the entire program satisfied the family's wants off the court. "He [Williams] told me that he would improve me as a man, because my parents and him talked about that a lot," said Britt. "They want me going to an institution where I can improve myself as a man, not just as a basketball player."

Although it may be early to speculate about things such as playing time, Britt is confident that he'll contribute once he reaches Chapel Hill. "They haven't told me a whole lot about playing time but I know Carolina and they don't recruit any of their players to come in and not play," he said. According to Britt's coach, Steve Turner, the junior's game resembles that of a few notable Heels' guards in the past. "I think Nate probably is a little more similar to the guys like a Ty Lawson or a Raymond Felton, who's going to beat you with his speed and get it up the floor quickly," Turner said. "But he also has the same knack and ability like Kendall [Marshall] to make other guys around him better."

According to Turner, Britt serves as a model for those wanting to make it big. "He's a special kid," said the coach. "He's an example of a guy who's put in all the hard work and it has paid off. That's why he has an opportunity to pick a school like North Carolina, which is one of the elite programs in the country."

In the meantime, Britt is turning his focus to his last two years of high school before he heads south. "Right now I can just focus on school and working out and getting the team ready to win the championship this year," he said.

When asked about the chance of a championship a few years down the road in Chapel Hill, Britt displayed similar confidence.

"That's what we plan on doing."

Nate Britt

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