The defending national champions will have a very familiar name on its roster next season.K.J. Smith, son of former Tar Heel point guard Kenny Smith, announced on Twitter that he will be walking on to the UNC basketball team. While he likely won’t be a key contributor, K.J. told Scout.com that he simply couldn’t turn down being a part of a school where both of his parents attended.”I always was a UNC fan growing up,” Smith said. “It was always in the back of my mind that UNC was the final destination where I wanted to end up. It was always a dream to say ‘I’m a Tar Heel.’ During the process, I got in contact with Roy (Williams) and we just built a Carolina relationship. I can’t even remember, I just kept thinking ‘What about Carolina?'” When I told Coach Roy I was accepted he told me ‘Welcome to the family.'”Kenny Sr., now an NBA announcer for Turner Sports, played for the Tar Heels from 1983 to 1987. A first-team All-American and national player of the year, Smith’s jersey number 30 is honored in the Smith Center rafters. He averaged 12.9 points with 6.0 assists in his career and broke Phil Ford’s career assists record. Smith went on to a long NBA career, leading the Houston Rockets to a pair of NBA titles.K.J. Smith will apparently be taking his father’s number out of the rafters. On Monday, he posted a photo of himself in the UNC 30 jersey on his Twitter account, announcing his decision to join Roy Williams’ program. Eight other Tar Heels have worn the number since Smith left, most notably Rasheed Wallace.”(My dad) was ecstatic just like any dad would be,” Smith told Scout. “The funniest reaction though was probably my mom. She was jumping up and down because she loves Carolina so much. I’m happy, my family is happy. I have a lot of family back in North Carolina so I’m glad a lot of my family can come to games and support me.”Smith was not heavily recruited out of his school. ESPN had him rated a one-star prospect, and Scout gave him two stars. Smith played a year on IMG Academy’s post-grad team, averaging 8.2 points and 2.4 assists. He then joined the University of the Pacific, where he averaged 3.2 points as a freshman last year.Smith scored a season-high 17 points against Cal-State Fullerton. Against Gonzaga, UNC’s opponent in the NCAA Championship Game, Smith was scoreless in two games, with a total of 18 minutes played.The 6-foot-2, 160-pounder chose to transfer following the season and will sit out next season before being eligible to play for the Tar Heels.Smith’s mother also graduated from Carolina, and his father played for coach Roy Williams, who was an assistant on Dean Smith’s staff during his UNC playing career.
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