By R.L. Bynum
There will be a special halftime ceremony Friday night that no Tar Heels fan will want to miss.
Carolina will honor Lennie Rosenbluth, the legendary star of the storied 1957 national championship team, at halftime of the College of Charleston game at the Smith Center, where his retired No. 10 jersey hangs from the rafters.
Regional sports networks will televise the 7 p.m. game, but the only likely way to see the entire ceremony live is to be in the arena.
Rosenbluth, who died at age 89 in June, never wanted a funeral, and this ceremony was scheduled instead as a celebration of his career and life. His former teammates and the UNC athletics department came together to make this happen.
On hand for the ceremony will be his wife Diane Rosenbluth, his son Steve Rosenbluth and his daughter Beth Webster. In addition, teammates on the 1957 team Tommy Kearns and Joe Quigg will be there.
Rosenbluth averaged 28 points and 8.6 rebounds per game during the Tar Heels’ amazing 32–0 1956–57 season that culminated with a 54–53 triple-overtime NCAA championship game victory in Kansas City over Kansas, led by Wilt Chamberlain.
Two Rosenbluth jumpers in the third overtime and his 31 points pushed UNC to a 74–70 semifinal win over Michigan State.
He was a consensus first-team All-American and ACC Player of the Year in 1957 and made first-team All-ACC all three seasons.
Rosenbluth’s 2,047 career points are the most in school history for a Carolina player with only a three-year career, and his career scoring average of 26.9 still is a school record. His career rebounding average of 10.4 is fourth-best in program history.
The Bronx, N.Y., native frequently attended home games over the years until his health didn’t allow him to do so.