A 1-on-1 interview with Dean Smith — and a mop
The "story" was North Carolina senior forward Dave Popson, a local high school standout (in Wilkes Barre about 20 minutes south of Scranton). He was a Tar Heels starter, playing just three hours from home and now he's just two wins away from the Final Four. My "don't come back unless you get this" instruction was a 1-on-1 interview with Dean Smith.
Dave Popson fondly remembers Dean Smith
The University of North Carolina basketball team had just won the national championship. It was legendary coach Dean Smith’s first NCAA championship, and the following morning he was working the phones contacting recruits from across the country. One of those phone calls was to 6-foot-10 high school All-American to be, Dave Popson from Bishop O’Reilly.
Art’s Angle: Sky-High Anxiety
Michael Norwood was a walk-on senior playing his last home game in 1987, and boy was there some pressure on him! Starting with scholarship regulars Curtis Hunter, Dave Popson, Kenny Smith and Joe Wolf, Norwood knew he had better make the most of his three minutes of fame. By the way, the Tar Heels were playing Duke and were going for their second unbeaten conference season in four years.
Legendary ACC Team No. 16: 1984 North Carolina
Is this the most underachieving ACC team ever? Some may agree that it is. The Tar Heels had Michael Jordan as a junior, Sam Perkins as a senior, Matt Doherty as a senior, Kenny Smith, Brad Daugherty, Joe Wolf, Dave Popson, Steve Hale, Kevin Madden, and so on.
Legendary ACC Team No. 25: 1987 North Carolina
Talk about teams that could and should have done more. Few teams and senior classes have left with as much unfinished business remaining on the table as North Carolina’s class of 1987. Kenny Smith, Joe Wolf, Dave Popson and company achieved two unbeaten seasons in ACC regular-season play and reached at least the Sweet 16 in all four of their seasons together. But they never got to a Final Four.