Phil Ford Becomes Work of Art

Late Night with Roy Williams was a big night for many reasons, and it also doubled as an art opening of sorts. Fans visiting the Smith Center were greeted with a unique new piece of Carolina Basketball memorabilia - a limited edition, fine art lithograph of Phil Ford scoring over Mike Giminski in Ford's last game in Carmichael Auditorium.

The print, entitled "Victory on Senior Day" is a project of Inside Carolina's own Mike McCracken. Mike lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and has been hoping to bring this kind of artwork to Tar Heels everywhere for several years.

"When I moved to Alabama, I would go around and see famous moments and players from Alabama Football commemorated in these prints, and I was just jealous," McCracken said. "I knew that if somebody would do really nice prints of Carolina Basketball, I would be the first person in line to get one, and the player I wanted it to feature was Phil Ford in that game."

Mike expects this print, rendered by award winning illustrator Stephen F. Hanson of a photo by Inside Carolina photographer Jim Hawkins, to be very popular simply because of the fact that Phil Ford is hand signing each one – not to mention the impressive, high quality print itself. Only 2290 prints will be sold – one for each point Phil scored at Carolina. 312 of the prints will be artist's proofs sold for $150 while 1978 of them will be regular editions and sell for $100. (Artist's proofs are numbered separately and are generally considered to be more collectible.) There will also be 25 original canvas reproductions which will retail for $1200 each. Observers tend to be impressed by the detail of the print, as well as its size. At 18"X 24", it is large enough to be the centerpiece of a wall.

The image depicts Ford soaring in for two of his career high 34 points en route to an 87-83 victory over Duke. The victory, sealed by two Ford free throws, clinched the regular season championship for the Tar Heels and Ford's performance helped wrap up his 1978 ACC and National Player of the Year awards. A Ford classmate, Tom Zaliagiris, can be seen moving in for a potential rebound and in the far reaches of the press box, a young Woody Durham can be seen rising from his seat to make the call.

"Victory on Senior Day" is intended to be the first in a series of great moments in Carolina Basketball, but no decision has been made yet on who will be the focus of the next print.

McCracken said that the initial response to the print has been extremely supportive.

"Fans took brochures as fast as we could hand them out at Midnight Madness and at Tar Heel Town the next day. We had a number of folks order their prints right there. It's really exciting to me that people are reacting the way they are. I have had so many folks come tell me that they attended that game, and many told me it was one of their greatest Carolina memories – that's really gratifying to me for the success of the project, and simply as a lifelong Carolina fan"

Fans interested in obtaining one of the prints or getting more information about them may do so by calling 866-596-1978 or visiting www.tarheelmoments.com.


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