Former Tar Heel Marcus Paige joins UNC Staff as Director of Team and Player Development

Marcus Paige, Carolina Basketball’s only three-time captain and the Tar Heels’ all-time leader in three-pointers, has joined the UNC men’s basketball coaching staff as Director of Team and Player Development. Paige returns to Chapel Hill after a seven-year career playing professional basketball.

“I am thankful and honored to be a part of UNC Basketball with Coach Davis and his staff,” says Paige. “I’ve always wanted the opportunity to make the same positive impact on players that my former coaches, including Coach Williams and Coach Davis, made on me. Basketball has taken me around the world, and Taylor and I couldn’t be happier than to take this next step here with my Carolina family.”

Paige played for the Tar Heels from 2012-16 and concluded his career 11th at Carolina in scoring with 1,844 points, first in three-pointers (299), third in steals (203), fourth in free throw percentage (.844) and eighth in assists (602). He made more threes in NCAA Tournament play than any other Tar Heel (39) and was the only player in NCAA Tournament history to make multiple three-pointers in all 13 games in which he played.

The Marion, Iowa, native was first-team All-ACC and a second-team All-America as a sophomore, a second-team All-ACC selection in 2015, an honorable mention All-America in 2016, was Carolina’s Most Valuable Player in 2014 and 2015 and is the only Tar Heel to win the team’s defensive player of the year award four times. He was twice named National Player of the Week and was ACC Player of the Week four times in 2014, when he became the first Tar Heel point guard to earn first-team All-ACC honors as a sophomore since Phil Ford in 1976.

Paige finished his collegiate career as one of two players in ACC history (with Duke’s Jason Williams) to amass 1,800 points, 500 assists, 350 rebounds, 275 three-pointers and 200 steals.
As a senior in 2016, he led UNC to an ACC Tournament championship then shot nearly 49 percent from three in six games in the NCAA Tournament. He hit six three-pointers against Indiana in the Sweet 16 and led the Tar Heels to the national championship game against Villanova. His double-clutch, off-balance three-pointer to tie the game with 4.7 seconds remaining is one of the most memorable shots in Final Four history.

He scored a career-high 35 points, including the game-winner with 0.9 seconds to play in overtime, in an 85-84 win at NC State on Feb. 26, 2014. He scored 31 of his 35 points in the second half and overtime.

Paige, 29, also excelled academically. He was one of three players in ACC history (with Maryland’s Tom McMillen and Duke’s Mike Gminski) to earn Academic All-America honors three times (second team twice and first team as a senior) and won the Skip Prosser Award as the ACC’s top scholar-athlete in basketball in 2015 and 2016. He was a finalist as a senior for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar award.

He was selected in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft and played two seasons in the NBA Development League (in Salt Lake City and Greensboro) and in five games with the Charlotte Hornets in 2017-18. Paige played three years in Belgrade, Serbia, where his team won two league titles, one year in France and an injury-shortened season in Spain.

“The standard for every Carolina basketball player is to be elite in three areas: on the court, in the classroom and in the community,” says head coach Hubert Davis. “There was no better example of that than Marcus Paige. I am thrilled to have a person with his character, love, passion, and devotion to this program and University be around our players every day.”

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