Black and Carolina Blue

Posted: 6 August by Brett Hoover in Alumni, Penn

Nate Cartmell (top left) and his 1911 UNC basketball team.

It appears that when Donald Black of Gastonia, N.C., allegedly robbed a woman during a drug deal, his face gave him away. That’s because Black ill-advisely had the easily-identifiable UNC athletics tattoo emblazoned on his cheek. Yup, he did.

If Black is a fan of history, and here at HepsTrack we suspect he is not, he might want to blame a four-time-Olympic-track-and-field-medal-winning Ivy Leaguer for his collar.

That’s because Nate Cartmell, a star runner for the Penn Quakers, started the UNC basketball program and served as its first coach 100 years ago. He really didn’t know much about the sport, but he fit the bill financially because he was already working as the school’s track coach.

His first game and his first season were winners as the Tar Heels beat Virginia Christian College (now Lynchburg) to open the season and won six of the following 10 games.

Less than two years before that, Cartmell won his only gold medal as a member of the U.S. sprint medley team at the 1908 London Olympics, running with a fellow Penn grad — John Baxter Taylor.

Nope, no way does Donald Black know that.


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