Holiday Attends Special Day in Chapel Hill

The Tar Heels were host to more than the 1957 and 1982 championship teams on Saturday. Joining the stars of years past in the Smith Center was a future star.

The No. 3-ranked junior prospect in the country, Jrue Holiday, out of North Hollywood (Calif) Campbell Hall, was in attendance on a visit to Chapel Hill.

"The whole visit wasn't so much about the experience as about the honor that I got to meet the 1957 and 1982 championship teams," Holiday said.

"I got to meet a couple of the players from the championship teams. I got to meet Michael Jordan. It was nerve-racking - I was so nervous."

One of the draws North Carolina has for Holiday is the basketball tradition and legacy, as noted by the countless banners and jerseys that hang from the Dean E. Smith Center rafters.

"It was great going to North Carolina, there's so much tradition there," he said. "It is a legendary place in basketball.

"The atmosphere at the Smith Center was crazy. The crowd was going wild and everybody seemed friendly. It was really good."

Holiday was also impressed by the way the current Tar Heels performed in their 104-67 rout of Wake Forest.

"I like the way North Carolina plays," he said. "They push the ball up the floor every play, and after every basket the other team scores they've got a guy taking the ball out looking to push it."

Campbell Hall likes to run the ball in a similar fashion. Coaches in Campbell Hall's division note that the team plays up-tempo and is hard to keep up with. The Campbell Hall Vikings, led by Jrue and older brother Justin, who earlier this season committed to play at Washington, are 24-1 this season.

The Vikings have earned a No. 23 ranking in USA Today's Super 25 national rankings, with impressive victories against Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft, featuring top junior point guard prospect and fellow UNC target Larry Drew, and Minnetonka (Minn.) Hopkins at the Gatorade Timberwolves Shootout in Minneapolis.

Holiday and the Vikings are the favorites to win the divisional championship and state championship.

Overall, Holiday said he was pleased with his unofficial visit to North Carolina and could see himself fitting in as a Tar Heel.

"It felt like I could play for Roy Williams as well as with the team," he said.

UNC is the second school Holiday has visited during his junior season, as he joined his brother for a trip to Washington on Nov. 24. Other schools under consideration include Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, USC and Texas, but he said he has no other college visits planned for the near future.

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