A chair from the office of former University of North Carolina men's basketball coach Dean Smith will be remodeled and used for chemotherapy patients.
The chair was auctioned on Friday morning at Roy Williams' annual breakfast benefiting cancer charities and purchased for $15,000 by Dr. Mark Graham, a former UNC professor and director of the school's breast cancer program. Graham now runs a hematology and oncology clinic in the state.
"We normally have La-Z-Boy type chairs for our patients when they are doing their chemotherapy," Graham said. "We thought this would be something different. But since we have fans of all persuasions, including those who love Duke and NC State, I'm assuming some will take a picture in it; others will want to wait until another chair frees up; and others might even cuss it."
Graham, who also took care of former NC State women's basketball coach Kay Yow during her cancer fight, was told that the Carolina blue leather chair was given up by Smith to Tar Heels women's coach Sylvia Hatchell when the men's team moved from Carmichael Auditorium to the Dean Dome in 1986. Smith purportedly sat in that chair for at least a decade, which means he sat in it during the years of Phil Ford, James Worthy, Sam Perkins and Michael Jordan.
Smith, who was the Tar Heels coach from 1961 to 1997, died in February. The Naismith Hall of Famer was 83.
Proceeds from Williams' event, which raised more than $200,000, will be given to the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center and the American Cancer Society. In its 11 years, Williams' breakfast has helped raise more than $2 million.