"I was looking for those guys," Melvin Scott recalled. "Everything was just scattered, confetti everywhere and we just met up right there on the court.
Jawad Williams said Scott, Jackie Manuel and him had become like brothers, together overcoming the adversity throughout the careers that culminated with the championship.
"We just knew we'd find each other," said Williams, who will decide where he will start his pro career in the coming days. "We had a special bond with each other. It was just one of those special moments and we just decided it was best to have a prayer. That was just a moment of reflection for us, realizing we came a long way."
Scott said the pure joy of the moment made them almost at a loss for words.
"It was just crazy," said Scott, who is negotiating a contract with a Greek pro team this week. "We were crying and saying things like ‘We did it!' I was happy for Coach Williams, and my mom was happy for me, but no one was happier than I was for those guys and they were for me."
And now this unforgettable, historic moment has been captured as a work of art.
Tar Heel Moments announced today that Stephen F. Hanson has begun work on "Championship Prayer," a new fine art lithograph print featuring Jawad Williams, Jackie Manuel, Melvin Scott, and Coach Roy Williams. This print, the third in the Tar Heel Moments series, depicts the scene on the floor of the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis in the moments immediately following the championship game. The players are seen together with Coach Williams with the giant scoreboard in the background and the streamers that fell from the ceiling of the dome at the end of the game.
"There were so many moments during the game that would have made great subject matter for this print, we weren't immediately sure what would be the best one to do," says Inside Carolina Magazine columnist and Tar Heel Moments President Mike McCracken.
"Then, when I heard Coach Williams mention Jawad, Jackie, and Melvin stopping in the middle of everything to say a prayer, and his going over to join them and their letting him in that huddle – I just knew that was the right thing for Stephen to paint. It's kind of a departure from the first two prints in terms of the action, but the whole idea is to highlight moments that make you proud to be a Tar Heel, and this is right up there."
"I just felt we should do something in particular to honor the three seniors, who had been through so much and finished as champions and Coach Williams, who went through a lot in coming back. Plus, the fact that they stepped away from this huge celebration for a moment of reflection – it just says a lot about the kind of people they are, and that really makes this project a pleasure to be involved with."
Each print will be hand signed by Jawad Williams, Jackie Manuel and Melvin Scott. The Regular Edition will be limited to 2,005 prints and each one will be hand signed and numbered by the artist, Stephen F. Hanson, as well. In addition, each Artist's Proof print – limited to 334, honoring Carolina's record of 33-4 - will be hand signed and numbered by the artist, these three players and Coach Roy Williams.
Championship Prayer is set for release in Chapel Hill on October 15. Progress on the print has been made and more elements will be added over the next month. "Most of the pieces are in place, but there are a couple of surprises that Carolina fans will love that we're adding towards the end," says McCracken.
Due to the expected high demand for prints autographed by the seniors and Coach Williams, Tar Heel Moments has begun accepting pre-orders for this print. For more information, visit: www.tarheelmoments.com or by calling 866-596-1978.