An outpouring of support has flooded in for legendary North Carolina men’s basketball head coach Roy Williams over the last couple days, after he announced his retirement earlier this week. Peers, media members and even former players have reflected on what the long-time leader has meant to the sport.
Former UNC point guard Cole Anthony recently spoke about what Williams meant to him during his single year in Chapel Hill. While teary-eyed, the former Tar Heel explained that the North Carolina head coach was someone he could always turn to, on or off the court.
“Roy was just a figure of my life, someone I could talk to or reach out to when I (wanted) a smile on my face when I was down,” Anthony said on Thursday, via the Orlando Magic. “He’s one of my favorite coaches I’ve ever played for. I’m really heartbroken seeing him retire, but I mean look, he gets to spend time with his family now and I get to go bug him while he’s not coaching.”
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) April 1, 2021
Anthony’s comments are almost more meaningful, considering North Carolina’s struggles while he was a part of the team during the 2019-20 season. The Tar Heels went 14-19 and would’ve missed out on the NCAA Tournament had it not been canceled due to COVID-19.
The Orlando Magic rookie was a bright spot for Williams’ team during a difficult year, averaging 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists in 22 games. He missed 11 starts to treat a partially torn meniscus in his right knee.
Nevertheless, Anthony still felt Williams impact, which only further speaks to the greatness of three-time national champion coach. After a historic career, the 70-year-old will leave the game of college basketball behind and leave a massive hole to fill.
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