Charlie Scott Becomes UNC’s First African-American Scholarship Basketball Player

The Urban Daily

University of North Carolina Tar Heels Collegiate Images

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When legendary University of North Carolina coach Dean Smith wanted his basketball team to get better back in the early 1960’s, he decided to open up his recruiting to start taking a look at black players at the persuasion of his church pastor . However, finding a black player that could fit the successful “Tar Heel” basketball player profile and have the grades the university required for admittance would be a challenge.

Charles “Charlie” Scott, a New York City native, would fit the bill perfectly. Scott, who eventually left New York City his senior year to enroll at Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina, was not only one of the nation’s top high school players; he was also the 1966 valedictorian of his high school. To be a top athlete AND to be smart enough to be top of your class was a…

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