Alumni Game: Interview with Jerry Stackhouse

RALEIGH -- <i>Inside Carolina</i> spoke with Jerry Stackhouse after the World's Greatest Alumni Game tonight at the Entertainment & Sports Arena.

Inside Carolina: How'd you come up with the idea for this event?

Jerry Stackhouse: I didn't know if I wanted to do a softball game or a pool tournament and then I thought about just having a game and inviting all the guys to come back, since we hadn't done anything like that yet. This being the first year, I thought it turned out really nice and hopefully will be something that happens every summer.

IC: Did you have any thoughts of what might have been when that starting lineup (Stackhouse, Wallace, McInnis, Jamison, Carter) took the floor?

Stackhouse: Oh, man, I thought that was a nice subplot to have for this thing – when we left we had those guys [coming in]. Nobody knew that those guys were going to be that good and how well it would have worked. Tonight was a good indicator that it could have been great.

The main thing, even though we all wanted to get together, was the cause – for diabetes. Make people aware and continue to raise money for research. That was the big reason, and we were able to accomplish some things toward it.

IC: Are you planning for this to be an annual thing?

Stackhouse: We're looking forward to it. All the guys are saying we definitely want to come back, so I don't think it's going to be a hard sell. I mean, it wasn't a hard sell this year. Guys want to come back and be involved. We had a great time. This has been a great weekend, but hopefully next year we can dedicate a whole weekend to it, so we're not conflicting with other things.

IC: What were the reasons behind the decision to have this here at the ESA?

Stackhouse: Well, I think it was because me being from Kinston, and a lot of people from the eastern part of the state coming in, it'd be easier access for them, and it just so happened that one of our head execs of Carolina Pros is on the board here at the ESA. And it turned out great. Most of all we wanted the location for convenience.

IC: Do you (Tar Heel) alumni all still frequently keep in touch?

Stackhouse: We're a big family, nothing's changed about that. It was a great event, not only for us to come together, but to have the young guys, future guys playing for Carolina now see that unity and want to be a part of it. Those guys, they'll be eager when their career is over to come back when their career is over to carry the torch.

IC: Have you talked to the current UNC players?

Stackhouse: Yeah, I talked to them. Met some of them for the first time today. Having a chance to talk to them, guys like Sam [Perkins] and Rick [Fox] are those who did that for us and gave back to the guys behind us, so we wanted them to do the same.

IC: So is the Carolina family still in good shape after the coaching transition?

Stackhouse: Matt [Doherty] is great. We've got to do more things to bridge the gap between the regime of Coach Smith, Guthridge and Coach Doherty. I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about that, but I think Matt is doing a great job. It's just hard when coming in you're trying to establish new things and put your own touch on things and going against tradition. But he'll get it right. He's got a lot of passion and once he channels that passion into what's best for the team he's going to be great.

IC: Are you still following the Carolina seasons closely?

Stackhouse: Without a doubt. I bleed blue. This is a big family that's going to continue to grow and branch out.

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