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Dean Smith thanks former players with checks

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26 APR 1952:  University of Kansas coach Dr. Forrest "Phog" Allen gives his final instructions to his team before playing and winning the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four held in Seattle, WA at the Edmundson Pavilion. Kansas defeated St. John's 80-63 for the title. future North Carloina coach Dean Smith (facing camera) was a junior at Kansas.

26 APR 1952: University of Kansas coach Dr. Forrest "Phog" Allen gives his final instructions to his team before playing and winning the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four held in Seattle, WA at the Edmundson Pavilion. Kansas defeated St. John's 80-63 for the title. future North Carloina coach Dean Smith (facing camera) was a junior at Kansas.

Known not just for his contributions to the game of basketball, but also for his class and love for his players, Dean Smith’s legend continues to grow — even after his death.

Before Smith died, the former Kansas basketball player and legendary North Carolina coach made sure he left a little “thank you” behind for each of his former players.

A photo of a letter sent out from Smith’s trust began circulating on social media Thursday afternoon.

None by InsideCarolina

The message, as shown in the note sent to former UNC player Dante Calabria, explained that Smith set up his will to give $200 to each Tar Heel he coached during his time in Chapel Hill:

“Each player was important and special to Coach Smith and when he prepared his estate plan, Coach wanted to reach out to each of his lettermen. Accordingly, Coach directed that following his passing each letterman be sent a two hundred dollar check with the message, ‘enjoy a dinner out, compliments of Coach Dean Smith.’”

What a cool gesture.

Smith, a native of Emporia, played at KU under Phog Allen, and came off the bench for the Jayhawks when they won the 1952 national championship game against St. John’s.

Comments

Todd Hill 4 years, 9 months ago

So do you cash it or frame it for your wall?

Len Shaffer 4 years, 9 months ago

Given the insanity of the NCAA, my first thought was to question whether North Carolina could get in trouble for that. I assume that's something they checked out, though, given that North Carolina's in enough trouble right now as it is.

In any event, it's a tremendous gesture from a tremendous individual. I think many of us (myself included) reacted perhaps a bit too harshly about Dean after Roy's departure.

Gary Bedore 4 years, 9 months ago

Todd ... I'd cash it just because it sounds like Dean Smith really wants the guys to enjoy a nice dinner on him. I'd definitely use the money on dinner.

Karen Holmes 4 years, 9 months ago

Class Act. One of the coolest bequests ever.

Freddie Garza 4 years, 9 months ago

Obviously one of the classiest men to ever grace the game we love so much, but on a separate note, that guy with the ball in his lap in the picture...that hairdo is EPIC and a fashion trend needs to be started based on this.

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