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North Carolina's Mt. Rushmore of Sports

2/2/2009

ESPN reviewed the submissions and discussions on your state/region's conversation page. The four figures on North Carolina's Sports Rushmore are below:

Michael Jordan (Wilmington, North Carolina Tar Heels) -
Before his reign in the NBA began, Jordan won the 1982 NCAA Championship at North Carolina. He then went on to a stunning career that saw him win five NBA MVPs, six NBA Championships and six NBA Finals MVPs.

Dale Earnhardt (Kannapolis) -
His seven NASCAR Cup championships are tied for most all-time.

Mike Krzyzewski (Duke Blue Devils) -
The all-time winningest coach in Duke history, Coach K has led Duke to three National Championships.

Dean Smith (North Carolina Tar Heels) -
The Dean of the profession when he coached, Smith won 879 games, two NCAA titles, 13 ACC Tournament victories and was a four-time National Coach of the Year.

Other standouts (even more nominees in conversation)

Catfish Hunter (Hertford)
- Pitched a perfect game, inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Mia Hamm (North Carolina)
- Two-time FIFA World Player of the Year

Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina Tar Heels)
- 2007-08 National Player of the Year, will have jersey retired

Charlie Justice (North Carolina Tar Heels)
- Two-time All-American, twice finished second in Heisman Trophy voting

Buck Leonard (Rocky Mount)
- Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame, won 9 consecutive Negro National League championships

Julius Peppers (North Carolina Tar Heels, Carolina Panthers)
- One of two players ever to have played in an NCAA Final Four and a Super Bowl

Richard Petty (Level Cross)
- Seven NASCAR Cup championships, tied for most all-time; Won a Cup-record 200 races

Enos Slaughter (Roxboro)
- 10-time all-star, 4-time World Series champion

David Thompson (N.C. State Wolfpack)
- 1975 Naismith College Player of the Year, Inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

Jim Valvano (N.C. State Wolfpack)
- Coached N.C. State to 1983 NCAA Championship

James Worthy (North Carolina Tar Heels)
- Three-time NBA champion, 1988 NBA Finals MVP

Roy Williams (North Carolina Tar Heels)
- Won 2005 National Championship as UNC coach, assistant coach under Dean Smith

Others for consideration:
Chris Paul (Wake Forest), Arnold Palmer (Wake Forest), Tim Duncan (Wake Forest), John Lucas (Durham)