College career::James Worthy


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College career After graduating high school, Worthy attended the University of North Carolina (UNC). An immediate standout, his freshman year was cut short near mid-season by a broken ankle. As a sophomore he was a key member of that school's 1981 NCAA runner-up team, starring alongside Al Wood and Sam Perkins.

As a junior power forward, Worthy was the leading scorer (15.6 points per game) of a Tar Heels NCAA championship team which featured one of the greatest collections of talent in collegiate basketball history,<ref name=nbabio/> including future NBA stars Sam Perkins and freshman Michael Jordan. A consensus first team All-American,<ref name=p95>UNC Men's Basketball Media Guide, 2007, p. 95.</ref> Worthy shared College Player of the Year honors with Virginia Cavalier Ralph Sampson.<ref name=nbabio/> He dominated the 1982 championship game against the Georgetown Hoyas, sealing the Tarheels' 63–62 victory by intercepting an inadvertent pass thrown by Hoya point guard Fred Brown with just seconds remaining. His 13–17 shooting, 28 point, 4 rebound finale capped a standout performance throughout the NCAA tournament, earning him its Most Outstanding Player award. A tip dunk in front of Patrick Ewing captioned "James Worthy slams the door on Georgetown" made the cover of Sports Illustrated.<ref>Finally, its Carolina. (1982) Sports Illustrated</ref>

In the wake of this success Worthy elected to forgo his senior year and enter the NBA draft. He completed his degree later, via summer school. He is one of eight UNC players to have their numbers retired.<ref name=p95 />

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College career
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