Maybe most won’t say this to fifth year senior Leslie McDonald on a blog, but let me be the exception to that… “Thank You!” A guard from Memphis, Tennessee that came to Chapel Hill with a lot bigger expectations than what he truly had. First injuries and this year the mistake made, somehow there has been something in the way of McDonald and his full potential.
However, in the end McDonald has been a Tar Heel, and like him or not, pregame tonight is not the moment to nitpick his resume, it is time to celebrate the five years that he spent donning the carolina blue and playing for head coach Roy Williams.
For someone who has played, even this year, having ups and downs tonight before the game should be all about the ups for the young man who will suit up for his last game in the Dean Dome. Tonight no one should think about the downs, they should applaud as loud as they can, they should cheer for him and think of all the great plays he had while being a Tar Heel. Hopefully the game will be well enough under control that coach Williams will be able to be take the shooting guard off the court and he will be given a standing ovation.
While the naysayers for McDonald are plenty, I choose to look at what he has done, like the game versus Duke, and what he can be. The senior leader down the stretch and into tournament play, an example for all, not just his team mates, that being dealt bad breaks like injuries does not mean you have to give up. That making mistakes, like the NCAA infraction, does not mean the end. That if you fall you can still get up, if you want to.
I will also thank the other three seniors of this squad… James Manor (Carrboro, NC), Denzel Robinson (Chapel Hill, NC) and Wade Moody (Mount Airy, NC). They might not be known as much to the general fan base, but have been working just as hard as any other players on the team.