Behind by as many as 18 points during the second half, North Carolina's alumni came back to defeat UCLA's, 116-111, in the Collegiate Legends Classic benefit basketball game Sunday at Pauley Pavilion.
"I knew pride would take over in the end," said a half-serious James Worthy of the Lakers, who played for North Carolina.
Alumni from as far back as 1955 joined players as youthful as recent National Basketball Assn. first-round draft picks Kenny Smith and Joe Wolf of North Carolina and Reggie Miller of UCLA for the game. Proceeds from the game went to the newly established Nell and John Wooden Post-Graduate Scholarship at UCLA and the North Carolina University Fund. Attendance was 4,828.
The game was an easy-going scrimmage with substitution usually by five-man shifts. UCLA led 68-56 at halftime and 81-63 early in the second half.
For the final few minutes, though, the play became more competitive. Andre McCarter, now a UCLA assistant coach, made a 10-foot jumper for a 108-107 lead with 1:18 remaining, but Smith's 10-footer put the Tar Heels back on top.
UCLA center Brad Wright missed two free throws, the second an air ball. Jordan then drove the lane and his shot was blocked by Haley, only to regain control of the ball and make a spectacular layup with 42 seconds to play.
"I think he's trying to show me what he can do, since he hopes to be my teammate next season," Jordan said.
Haley, who had 15 of his 18 points in the first half, scored the last three points of the game for UCLA, but Phil Ford and Jordan sank two free throws apiece to clinch it.
John Wooden and Dean Smith served as honorary coaches. Twenty-one former UCLA players actively participated, among them Lucius Allen, Rod Foster, Roy Hamilton, Greg Lee, Curtis Rowe, Pete Trgovich, Kiki Vandeweghe, and Jamaal and James Wilkes. More than 100 former UCLA players, coaches and student managers were in attendance, including Denny Crum, Gail Goodrich, Bill Walton and Sidney Wicks.