One more honor due Bill Walton: The Presidental Medal of Freedom

By TOM SHANAHAN President Joe Biden: Please honor Bill Walton with a Presidential Medal of Freedom same as Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Russell received his Meda in 2011 and Abdul-Jabbar in 2016 from President Barack Obama. Walton can join them posthumously following his death on May 27 at age 71 from colon cancer, but this is a suggestion based far beyond sympathy. They are, after all, considered three of basketball’s greatest centers, having each won multiple NCAA…

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Alabama native Garrison Brooks and UNC coach Roy Williams on Hank Aaron legacy beyond baseball

By TOM SHANAHAN North Carolina’s Garrison Brooks was recruited from Hank Aaron’s home state of Alabama, so the All-ACC forward knows more about the Baseball Hall of Famer and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient than most people his age. “He was a true Alabama legend on and off the field,” Brooks said. “My granddaddy always spoke of him. He said he was one of the greatest human beings someone could model themselves after.” Aaron’s death Friday at age…

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Duffy Daugherty and the case for the Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Barack Obama three years ago you presented North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The White House ceremony was a moment for the basketball nation to applaud. The proclamation recognized Smith’s two national titles, multiple national coach-of-the year awards and life as a “dedicated civil rights advocate throughout his career.” Smith had integrated ACC basketball with Charlie Scott in the 1967-68 season. That resume and time frame is matched, if not surpassed,…

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