UNC, ECU, UNCG, UNCW to play charity exhibition hoop ‘jamboree’

Proceeds from the unique event, which will be played on Sunday, Nov. 5, will go to the Governor's Disaster Relief Fund

UNC's Roy Williams (left) and UNCW's C.B. McGrath worked together from 2003 through last season's national championship game (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Four in-state basketball teams have announced they will participate in a preseason exhibition “jamboree” on Sunday, Nov. 5 to raise money for Gov. Roy Cooper’s North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund.

North Carolina will host the event at the Smith Center, with East Carolina, UNC Greensboro and UNC Wilmington also participating. Each team will play a total of 40 minutes, divided up in three segments against other teams.

The event will begin at 3 p.m.

Tickets are priced at $20 and will go on sale Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the UNC athletic ticket office, online at GoHeels.com or by calling 1-800-722-HEEL. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Disaster Relief Fund.

UNC students will be admitted free with a valid student ID, but are also encouraged to make donations at the gate. ECU, UNCG and UNCW will also have a limited number of tickets available through their respective athletic ticket offices.

Students from UNC-Chapel Hill will be admitted for free at Gate C with a valid student ID, but are encouraged to make donations to the Disaster Relief Fund at that same gate.

Not only are all four schools part of the UNC system, their programs each have strong ties to one another through their coaching staffs.

ECU’s Jeff Lebo and UNCG’s Wes Miller both played for the Tar Heels. New UNCW coach C.B. McGrath was a UNC assistant under Williams from 2003 to last spring. Miller’s younger brother Walker is currently a freshman center for the Tar Heels.

Schools are usually allowed to play only twice during the preseason — either in closed scrimmages or public exhibition games. Because of the damage done by recent storms, including Hurricane Matthew here in North Carolina, the NCAA has issued waivers to allow schools to play an extra preseason game to raise money for relief organizations.

Here’s what the four participating coaches had to say about the unique event:

UNC’s Roy Williams:

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our universities, our basketball programs and college basketball fans to help people in need. The recent hurricanes caused so much damage. We have a unique opportunity to engage with three schools that are part of the UNC system, whose coaches also have close ties to our own program, to partner in this event. I hope fans of all four teams and people who just want to find a way to make a positive impact will come out and support this relief effort.”

ECU’s Jeff Lebo:

“Here in eastern North Carolina we know first hand how devastating the effects of a hurricane can be and have been the beneficiary of the generosity of so many in the past. We are privileged to be part of this event with the opportunity to raise money for those affected by these catastrophic storms and give back to those who unselfishly gave to our community when we were in need.”

UNCG’s Wes Miller:

“We’re honored Coach Williams included us in this event and we are thrilled to be a part of it. Most importantly, it is for a tremendous cause, but it’s also an opportunity for us to compete against three quality in-state programs. It is a privilege for our student-athletes to give back to our community and help those who have been impacted by these powerful storms.”

UNCW’s C.B. McGrath

“Coach Williams asked me if I’d be interested in playing an exhibition game for hurricane relief and I thought it was a great idea. It’s a win-win situation for us and the fans. We have an opportunity to raise some money to help everyone and see some good basketball for a day. It’s a small part that we can do. Their lives have been destroyed and, hopefully, the money we raise can help them get back on track. It’s important for our guys to understand how we can use basketball to do something important like this.”