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Roy Williams, UNC legend, will speak and do Q&A for Fayetteville Habitat
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Roy Williams, UNC legend, will speak and do Q&A for Fayetteville Habitat

If you wanted the chance to meet Roy Williams, this is your chance.

The former UNC basketball coach, who led the Tar Heels to three national titles, will be the featured guest at a luncheon and fundraiser for Fayetteville Area Habitat For Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps low- and middle-income people build and own their first house.

“Homecourt: A Conversation with Coach Roy Williams” is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 27, at the Felton J. Capel Arena on the campus of Fayetteville State University. The event is co-sponsored by Fayetteville Habitat and the FSU Athletic Department.

The retired coach will share “insights on the powerful connection between sports and community development, with a focus on the critical issue of homeownership,” said Rebecca Wolf, director of marketing for Fayetteville Habitat, in a statement.

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She said Habitat believes Williams’ perspective would lead to action in the community and support for its programs, including the Critical Home Repairs program; Home Ownership Program; Special days for students; and an upcoming construction camp for students ages 16 and older who are interested in crafts.

Why transactions?

Brandon Price, CEO of Fayetteville Habitat, said the legendary coach would participate in a question-and-answer session after lunch. Sponsorship opportunities are available, as well as tables of eight for $2,500 and single tickets for $125.

The money will go toward programs for Habitat, a regional nonprofit. The organization’s most visible endeavor is building new homes through the sweat equity of future homeowners working with Habitat staff and volunteers. We see that visibility in neat, colorful neighborhoods like the one on Bunce Road in west Fayetteville.

In addition to the homeownership program, Fayetteville Habitat also does home repairs, a Veterans Build program and neighborhood revitalization.

But another aspect of the nonprofit is providing opportunities for youth to learn the skills of home construction and repair, and tool safety – through Trade Days, a partnership with Cumberland County Schools. As part of the program, students build their own custom toolboxes.

“An old-fashioned toolbox,” Price said. “They decorated them. Some started using them for flower pots, makeup brushes and nail polish. But some people are going to use them as real toolboxes.”

He said the goal is to give students who may not be interested in college a chance to explore trades like carpentry and plumbing, where there are many high-paying jobs.

“We need more young people entering the trade because the average age of someone in the trade is over 55,” he said. ‘They’re getting older. That’s why the cost of housing is rising – because there are fewer people doing it.”

Hall of Famer

Williams coached UNC from 2003 to 2021 and before that at Kansas from 1988 to 2003. He won more than 900 games and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

It is unclear when he last visited Fayetteville.

In February, he sat down with his former rival, Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski, for an hour-long special on the ACC Network, “Coach K & Roy Williams Rivals Reunited.”

Opinion Editor Myron B. Pitts can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3559.