Jersey retirement ceremony Wednesday in Chapel Hill
For Tyler Hansbrough, the long wait is almost over.
Nearly two years after he assured his North Carolina jersey would be retired, Hansbrough will attend the formal ceremony to raise No. 50 to the rafters of the Dean Smith Center on Wednesday night in Chapel Hill.
"I feel honored," Hansbrough said. "It's great for me just to be recognized in that category. And as a huge Carolina fan, it's something I always dreamed about. It's great. I'm excited."
Hansbrough becomes the eighth player in UNC history to have his jersey retired and the first since Antawn Jamison in 1998. Others include Michael Jordan (1984), James Worthy (1983), Phil Ford (1978), Lennie Rosenbluth (1957), George Glamack (1941) and Jack Cobb (1926).
"Yeah, I mean, Jordan and Jamison are two guys I got to watch growing up and I got to play against Jamison (when the Pacers faced the Wizards)," Hansbrough said, "so that's pretty cool."
To retire a jersey at North Carolina, a player must win at least one of six national player of the year awards. Hansbrough swept all six after his junior season (2007-08), so his number technically was retired when his class was graduated.
The timing of the ceremony, possible because the Pacers play their last game before the All-Star break tonight against Chicago, worked out nicely for the Tar Heels. They play Duke Wednesday night.
"It's a big game," said Hansbrough with a smile, "but it just kind of worked out, scheduling-wise, that it was the best time for me to go back and get my jersey retired."
The 13th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft has missed the Pacers' last 11 games, and 18 of 22, with an inner ear infection.