1989 was a rather disappointing year for the UNC Tar Heels. Despite having a team of seven McDonald’s high school All-Americans, the Heels finished the season 29-8 and lost to the eventual national champion Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen. However, they did something that year that they weren’t able to do this year which was win the ACC Tournament. The 1989 team included late eighties Tar Heel greats like King Rice, Rick Fox, Jeff Lebo and Hubert Davis among others. However, the MVP of the 1989 ACC Tournament was J.R. Reid, and he was back at the ACC Tournament this year as an analyst for the ACC Digital Network.
Most Tar Heel fans have their own personal, favorite player. Sometimes it’s the best player on the team like Tyler Hansbrough or the 6th man like Danny Green or even a member of Blue Steel (or Code Blue which according to Twitter is what we call the third stringers now). In 1989, when I was eight years old, J.R. Reid was my favorite UNC player. I think it was his trademark hi-top fade that captivated me more than anything else. I vividly recall looking through the newspaper every morning at breakfast and cutting out articles featuring Reid. So, Friday night when I went downstairs during halftime of the Clemson/Maryland game and saw him sitting in a chair with a microphone taking questions from fans, the eight year old deep inside me was doing about 500 cartwheels.