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Vince Carter gives Tar Heels a $2.5 million kiss


Mike Miller

Vince Carter isn’t hurting for cash during the NBA lockout. In fact, he’s giving it away.

The North Carolina alum donated $2.5 million to the Carolina Basketball Family Fund, the school announced Wednesday. It’s the largest gift, to date, to the fund. He’ll have Letterman’s Lane, the brick walkway between the Smith Center and the Koury Natatorium, named after him.

Carter played three years at UNC, helping the Heels to back-to-back Final Fours and earning All-America honors as a junior before leaving early for the NBA.

“My days as a Carolina student, both pre-NBA and during the summers after I was drafted, will always be special to me,” Carter said in a release. “It goes without saying that I am a Tar Heel. For several years, I have been thinking about something I could do to leave a legacy at UNC. Lettermen’s Lane is a perfect fit.”

It’s perfect timing for a program that is ready to embrace its hoops program more than ever – and ignore football. It also serves as a reminder that Carter really was serious about his North Carolina devotion. This is a guy who caught all sorts of grief when he skipped a morning shootaround before an Eastern Conference semifinal game against Philly in 2001 so he could attend UNC graduation ceremonies.

Then again, I suppose it’s a reasonable gift from a guy who’s made $134 million during his NBA career.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.