Armando Bacot: "I wouldn't trade my UNC basketball career for anything"

Now that his UNC basketball career has finally come to a close, Armando Bacot reflected a bit on what his time in Chapel Hill has meant to him.
Wagner v North Carolina
Wagner v North Carolina / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

Another chapter of the history of the UNC basketball program came to a close on Thursday night in Los Angeles, as Armando Bacot played his last game as a Tar Heel.

For the past five seasons, Bacot has been an integral part of the program, experiencing some of the highest highs along with some of the lowest lows.

Regardless of the situation, Bacot never wavered in his love for the University of North Carolina, as he reflected a bit on his time in Chapel Hill following the season-ending loss to Alabama in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

“Just so thankful. Growing up, even in high school, I never thought I’d get to this point, so to be able to live what I’ve lived through these five years of college has been amazing. I mean, everything Carolina; the school, the state, the fans have given me, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Nothing in this world. I’m just glad I was able to be a part of this for five years.”

Having had the opportunity to play five seasons at North Carolina (thanks to a COVID year of eligibility), Bacot was part of a college basketball era that saw plenty of changes, especially in Chapel Hill. Needless to say, no UNC basketball player has ever experienced what the Richmond, Virginia native has throughout his collegiate career.

For starters, Bacot was one of the last players remaining from the Roy Williams era. He was part of one of the worst teams in UNC basketball history (based on record) and followed it up by helping lead North Carolina on a national championship game run two seasons later in 2022.

On top of the world, Bacot and his teammates returned to Chapel Hill to "Run It Back," as the players started benefiting from the new Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) rules. The Tar Heels went from preseason No. 1 to not even making the NCAA Tournament, as Bacot's historic senior season ended with his team watching the postseason from home.

Bacot would return for a fifth season, and although the Tar Heels fell short of their national championship goals, the now former UNC basketball star thinks it was his best year by far.

“I think this year for me was the finest year of basketball I’ve had in my life. Even though we didn’t win a national championship, and that was a big goal for us; and we were definitely good enough and talented enough.

The amount of fun we had this year, the (pressure) for basketball, going to a school like this is tough. Such a big brand, and at times some things you hear (and) see, and things you go through at a school like this can be tough at times.”