The month of March ushers in the spring season and the start of one of the biggest events in college sports – the NCAA basketball tournament, more commonly known as March Madness. So, there was no better time for us to fulfill the wishes of devoted hoops fan, Jordan Brigman.
The North Carolina resident is not just any fan; he’s a superfan of the North Carolina Tar Heels. (He also shares the same name as one of its greatest players, Michael Jordan). And his dream was not just to attend any UNC game but the showdown against in-state rival, the Duke Blue Devils.
We stepped up our game to give the superfan a super experience. Our team surprised Jordan at his home with tickets to the Carolina Vs Duke game and a host of other exciting activities. The day began with a visit to the PNC Arena, the home of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. Jordan and his family toured the venue, met some of the players and received signed gear. Jordan also rode on the ice as a special guest of the team.
When the biscuit hit the ice and play began, Jordan joined throngs of screaming fans for the hard-hitting, fast-paced contest as the home team triumphed 3-1 over the New Jersey Devils. One victory down and one to go.
Next stop: Chapel Hill and a tour of the campus and arena named for the school’s legendary coach, Dean Smith.
Jordan enjoyed a spectacular behind-the-scenes look at the rich history and tradition of the University of North Carolina. Jordan visited the academic halls and historic monuments of Chapel Hill, the flagship of the university’s 17 campuses. Its more than 730 sprawling acres provide the ideal backdrop for the school’s illustrious basketball program.
At the basketball arena, Jordan learned what it takes to turn teams into champions. From the conditioning and training rooms to the practice court, he witnessed the facilities and equipment, hard work and preparation required before players ever hit the court. Jordan also took practice shots with the players, coaches and staff, who treated him like a real MVP and toured the halls that house the school’s many national and conference titles. He even held one of its covenant trophies and donned one of the school’s many championship rings.
At long last, it was time for the tip-off for the epic rivalry, and Jordan was thrilled to sit on the bench with his favorite team. With every high-flying play, rebound and clutch shot, Jordan cheered as his team rallied against their rivals. At the final buzzer, the Tar Heels came up short on the scoreboard but not with Jordan.
The real victory for this sports fanatic was a dream fulfilled. Despite his medical condition, Jordan triumphed with a dream experience worthy of a champion.