Orange County

Ready to relive UNC’s basketball glory? Carolina Basketball Museum open for visitors

This is a view of the Carolina Basketball Museum before it underwent a major renovation and reopened in late September.
This is a view of the Carolina Basketball Museum before it underwent a major renovation and reopened in late September. HARRY LYNCH

Name a better time to update a museum than after winning a national championship.

That’s what has happened at UNC Chapel Hill and the Carolina Basketball Museum.

The museum got a facelift and now contains more trophies and memorabilia, including artifacts from the Tar Heels’ 2017 NCAA men’s basketball championship. It reopened last month just in time for the start of basketball season.

The renovation was the largest project at the museum since it opened in 2008, according to Steve Kirschner, who heads UNC’s athletic communications department. He also oversees the museum’s content and artifacts.

“After two straight Final Fours, we had a lot of new content to exhibit,” Kirschner said. “We’ve had a lot of visitors since it opened and it was just time to do the updates.”

Kirschner said the museum has more than 500,000 visitors since it opened.

The museum features artifacts, videos, photos, statistical and historical panels that highlight the history of UNC’s basketball program. There are video tributes to Dean Smith, Roy Williams and Michael Jordan.

It also includes new interactive highlights of the 20 Final Four appearances and 18 ACC Tournament championships, and many of the greatest games and exciting finishes in Tar Heel history. These were updated with new touch screens.

Kirschner said the new technology was required because many of the old components are no longer available and couldn’t be updated.

“People like seeing the new, modern content,” Kirschner said.

The renovation was handled by Advent, which also updated the Smith Center locker room for the men’s team.

The Carolina Basketball Museum is located on the first floor of the Ernie Williamson Athletics Center, adjacent to the Smith Center and Koury Natatorium on Skipper Bowles Drive. It is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

UNC plays an exhibition game against Barton College on Oct. 27 (7:30 p.m., ACC Network Extra). The Tar Heels’ first regular season game will be at home against Northern Iowa on Nov. 10.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews