UNC national championship tree on Franklin Street removed

Feb. 27, 2012 4:58 pm

After the UNC men’s basketball team won the NCAA Championship in 2009 and thousands of fans stormed Franklin Street, a tree lay toppled on the corner of Franklin and Columbia streets. Dwight Bassett, Chapel Hill town economic developer, sculpted the tree into a hand holding a basketball to commemorate the victory.

On Tuesday, the monumental “championship tree,” located on the sidewalk outside of Spanky’s, was removed from the corner because it was decayed. Although the town planted a new tree in its place, the street corner looks bare.

The sculpture is in the process of being dried and preserved to be reused as a piece of public art. Two questions remain: Will the Heels pull out a championship win in this year’s NCAA tournament? If so, could a new sculpture be in the works?

More in The Daily Tar Heel: UNC National Championship tree on Franklin Street removed, replaced because of decay