Sports news

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.
Gerry Broome / AP

Last July, when the men’s basketball players at UNC-Chapel Hill returned to campus for the first time, head coach Roy Williams was, as he says, “scared to death.”

Riley McCullough / Unsplash Creative Commons

A group of Republican state senators want to increase limits on spectators at outdoor high school athletic events. Their proposal would allow high school stadiums to operate at 40% capacity. The current limit is 100 people.

North Carolina Central University players watch from the dugout at the Durham Athletic Park in 2010.
Patricia A. Murray / via Flickr

After this spring, baseball will no longer be played at North Carolina Central University.

The historically Black university in Durham announced Thursday that it was discontinuing the sport after its 2021 season.

Ben McKeown / AP Photo

Hall of Fame coach Anson Dorrance is embarking on what amounts to an unusual continuation of the 2020 women’s soccer season with North Carolina.

Kathy Kmonicek / AP Photo

North Carolina players apologized Tuesday for not following school and athletic department COVID-19 guidelines during a celebratory gathering after a win at rival Duke.

 In this Sept. 12, 2020, file photo, Naomi Osaka, of Japan, returns a shot to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the women's singles final at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York.
Seth Wenig / AP

The North Carolina Courage have a new 23-year-old member of their ownership group.

International tennis star Naomi Osaka has invested in the Cary-based club, the two-time National Women’s Soccer League champions announced early Thursday morning.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The NHL has postponed its first game since the league’s season began, calling off Tuesday night’s game between Carolina and the Predators hours after the Hurricanes won the first of a two-game set in Nashville.

Carolina Hurricanes center Ryan Dzingel celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Detroit.
Paul Sancya / AP

Nino Niederreiter scored early in the first period and Petr Mrazek had to make just 14 saves for a shutout, helping the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Red Wings 3-0 Thursday night in Detroit, in the season opener for both teams.

UNC defender Emily Fox plays in the 2019 ACC Tournament semifinals at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Mitchell Northam / WUNC

A pair of players from UNC-Chapel Hill were selected in the first round of the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League Draft on Wednesday night.

Senior Emily Fox – who can play as a defender or in the midfield – was drafted first overall by Racing Louisville FC, an expansion club new to the league this season. Taken third overall by New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC was Briana Pinto, a junior midfielder for Anson Dorrance’s Tar Heels.

A woman smiles at the camera, with an out-of-focus background that looks like a beach.
Courtesy of Nicole Zelniker

For Maia Dery, sitting still has never been much of an option. Her teacher had her sit out in the halls to not disturb other students, and as soon as she had her precious drivers license, Dery routinely skipped school to escape to Duke Forest.

Chuck Burton, File / AP Photo

Marty Hurney is out again as Carolina's general manager.

Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas drops back to pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Coastal Carolina on Nov. 21, 2020, in Conway, S.C.
Richard Shiro / AP

Appalachian State and North Texas start the COVID-19 college football bowl season in the first-ever Myrtle Beach Bowl on Monday. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN.

UNC guard Petra Holesinska dribbles against S.C. State on Dec. 3, 2020 at Carmichael Arena.
Mitchell Northam / WUNC

North Carolina's second-year women's basketball head coach Courtney Banghart said earlier this week that she needed more from her veterans after the Tar Heels lost their first two ACC games of the season.

Thursday night, UNC's seniors showed up in a big way, powering the Tar Heels to a dominant 92-68 upset win over No. 18 Syracuse at Carmichael Arena.

Jim Phillips will assume the role of ACC Commissioner in February 2021. He replaces John Swofford, a North Carolina native who has held the job since 1997.
Image courtesy of ACC

The Atlantic Coast Conference hired Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips on Monday to be the league’s next commissioner, replacing the retiring John Swofford.

A boy wearing a mask shoots on an outdoor basketball court.
Pam Tso McKenney, The Menlo School / via Flickr

High school basketball season is beginning with a mask mandate.

Games don't tip off until January, but tryouts start this week. And the North Carolina High School Athletic Association is requiring everyone in the gym – athletes, coaches and trainers – to mask up.

Photographer Madeline Gray moved to Kinston, N.C., in early 2018. As a teenager, Gray played on her high school's basketball team in rural Ohio. In Kinston, she found a chance to revisit that formative experience.

Gray spent over a year getting to know the girls basketball team at Kinston High School, following them to games, practices and through rites of passage that were interrupted this spring when Kinston High closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

North Carolina State guard Raina Perez drives next to South Carolina guard Destanni Henderson (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. N.C. State won 54-46.
Sean Rayford / AP

North Carolina State coach Wes Moore channeled two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Parcells after the Wolfpack's landmark victory over No. 1 South Carolina.

Raina Perez hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:07 left and Kayla Jones had 16 points and 12 rebounds and the eighth-ranked Wolfpack ended the Gamecocks' 29-game winning streak with a 54-46 victory Thursday night.

N.C. State sophomore Jada Boyd takes a shot against North Florida in the Wolfpack's women's basketball game on Nov. 25, 2020 at Reynolds Coliseum.
Mitchell Northam / WUNC

Elissa Cunane scored 17 points to lead six players in double figures for No. 8 North Carolina State in a 108-70 rout of North Carolina Central on Sunday.

Duke women's basketball coach Kara Lawson, arrives on stage to speak to the crowd before Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Riverside High School in Durham, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.
Carolyn Kaster / AP

On Nov. 7, the Associated Press and several other news outlets called the 2020 U.S. presidential race for former Vice President Joe Biden. A countless number of his supporters flocked to social media to rejoice in his victory and to applaud him, but only a fraction of those folks were able to tweet a video clip of the President-elect quoting them.

Kara Lawson could do that.

A Black man in a blue USA track running outfit with USA and his last name 'Gillette' on the front. The man is running and the picture was captured while he was in mid air.
Credit: Joe Kusumoto

While he sprints toward the sand pit, his coach shouts and claps to offer direction. 16 steps. That is all it takes before Lex Gillette flies. After losing his sight at age 8, Gillette found others’ expectations burdensome. From the classroom to the playground, he sought out adults who understood his extraordinary skills. 

In this March 8, 2020 file photo, Oklahoma City Thunder's Chris Paul plays against the Boston Celtics during an NBA basketball game in Boston.
Michael Dwyer / AP

NBA star Chris Paul led nearly 2,500 people on a march to an early-voting site at a historically Black college in North Carolina where he also takes classes.

Mack Brown UNC
Ben McKeown / AP

No. 23 North Carolina State at No. 14 North Carolina looks like the game of the week in the ACC.

Six months after driver Kyle Larson was suspended for uttering a racial slur, NASCAR announced he's been reinstated and is eligible to return to the sport in January.

Larson, 28, was dropped from his racing team and quickly lost sponsors after saying the N-word in April while playing a video game that viewers could follow along. NASCAR moved to bar him indefinitely and ordered him to attend racial sensitivity training.

Residents Revive Tennis Courts In North Carolina City

Oct 12, 2020
Yoav Hornung / Unsplash / Creative Commons

After hitting a few shots back and forth over a tattered net, Martin Jackson looked at his father and delivered the verdict.

“Martin looked at me and said, ‘I think this court is salvageable. I think you could save this,’” said George Jackson, Martin’s father.

That’s all he needed to hear.

Justin Williams, former captain of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced he would take a break from NHL hockey.
Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams is retiring after 19 NHL seasons and three Stanley Cup championships.

UNC basketball Nassir Little Tar Heels
Mitchell Northam / WUNC

UNC-Chapel Hill’s men’s basketball team will play in the Maui Invitational this year without having to leave the state of North Carolina.

Due to concerns from the coronavirus, the annual college basketball tournament is moving to the mainland.

Mack Brown UNC
Ben McKeown / AP

It’s been so long since No. 12 North Carolina played its last game that it almost feels like a new season to coach Mack Brown.

Burlington Royals MiLB
Courtesy of the Burlington Royals

Major League Baseball started the process of eliminating minor league affiliates Tuesday, with the Appalachian League converted to a college summer circuit for rising freshmen and sophomores.

Michael Jordan
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Denny Hamlin has joined Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan to form a NASCAR team with Bubba Wallace as the driver, a high-profile pairing of a Black majority team owner and the only Black driver at NASCAR’s top level.

Brian Blanco / AP

Carolina coach Matt Rhule knows if the Panthers are to win their first game Sunday, they will have pressure “iconic quarterback” Tom Brady and not allow him to sit in the pocket and pick their defense apart.

The Panthers didn’t register a sack in their season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders and barely got any pressure on Derek Carr.