CHAPEL HILL — When Wayne Ellington took his recruiting trip to North Carolina, one of the first things he did was look up to the rafters and dream about having his No. 22 hanging amongst the honored jerseys. “When you’re a kid, you dream about stuff like that,’’ said the Minnesota Timberwolves’ rookie.
Saturday, that officially happened.
Before the Tar Heels beat N.C. State 74-61, Ellington – the Most Outstanding Player of last year’s Final Four – and point guard Ty Lawson - last year’s ACC Player of the Year while wearing No. 5 – had their jerseys honored. Their numbers can still be worn by current and future Tar Heels, but they will also hang among other Tar Heels greats who have been named league player of the year; first- or second-team All-America; team MVP of an NCAA title-winning team; MOP of the Final Four; and/or won an Olympic gold medal.
“When I first got here, I really didn't think my jersey would be in the rafters,’’ said Lawson, now a rookie for the Denver Nuggets. “Seeing the former players like Michael Jordan and James Worthy and all them up there just made me work harder and harder. To this day, it's one of my dreams that I finally accomplished to get in the rafters.”