UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Players New And Old Celebrate North Carolina Coach Roy Williams

Apr 1, 2021, 1:34 PM
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell at the Rising Stars Challenge In North Carolina (Photo by Streeter...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell at the Rising Stars Challenge In North Carolina (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After legendary North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams announced he was calling it a career, Utah Jazz players new and old took to social media to celebrate the Hall of Famer’s career.

Williams is hanging up his clipboard after 18 seasons overseeing the Tar Heels program which he took over after 15 years of leading the Kansas Jayhawks.

During his illustrious career, Williams took his Kansas and UNC teams to eight Final Four appearances including three National Championships, most recently winning the college title in 2017.

Jazz Players Celebrate Williams Career

In typical fashion, the always thoughtful Donovan Mitchell was the first Jazz player to extend a nod to the UNC legend.

Mitchell faced Williams and the Tar Heels twice during his career at Louisville, splitting the series 1-1 while averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.

“I gotta say even though It’s always gonna be #L1C4 I did want to go to UNC my whole life!” Mitchell tweeted. “Roy was a huge part of that and he is and always will be a legend… Congrats coach on a great career!!”

Former Jazzman Marcus Paige also celebrated the coach he played for through his four-year career at UNC.

Paige was acquired by the Jazz on draft night in 2016 and signed a contract with the team, but was waived before the beginning of the regular season.

The guard averaged 13.1 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.8 rebounds during his four-year career under Williams and helped carry the Tar Heels to the National Championship game in 2016.

“I don’t have the words to describe in one message the impact Coach RW had on my life!” Paige tweeted. “Congrats on a legendary career coach, you will be missed 🐐

With such a long and impactful career in college basketball, it’s impossible to watch an NBA game without finding ties to Williams during his time at UNC or Kansa. Tony Bradley is the latest Jazz player to have suited up at UNC under Williams.

The center played one season at North Carolina before being drafted by the Jazz with the 28th pick of the 2017 NBA draft.

Coincidentally, Bradley replaced former Tar Heel Ed Davis in the Jazz rotation mid-way through last season after Davis suffered a broken leg. Davis spent just one season in Utah after spending two seasons at UNC between 2008 and 2010.

Marvin Williams spent two seasons with the Jazz, which twice as many as he spent under Williams at UNC. The Jazz acquired the former Tar Heel in 2012 in a trade for guard Devin Harris.

Williams spent one season at North Carolina where they won the National Championship before being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the number two overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft.

Coach Williams ties to the Jazz didn’t begin after arriving at North Carolina. The Jazz also drafted two of Williams players during his time at Kansas.

Greg Ostertag spent four seasons under Williams at Kansas before the Jazz drafted him with the 28th pick in the 1995 NBA draft. Ostertag spent 10 of his 11 NBA seasons with the Jazz before retiring in 2006.

Former Jazz point guard Jacque Vaughn also played for Williams at Kansas. The guard spent four seasons under the legendary coach before being drafted by the Jazz with the 27th pick of the 1997 NBA Draft.

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