Tar Heel icon to preach persistence at Sanford Small Business Banquet

May. 07, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

Anyone who wants to support local businesses while also brushing shoulders with one of the most famous point guards to ever dribble a basketball will have the chance Thursday night.

The annual Small Business Banquet, hosted by the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, featuring food, entertainment and guest of honor Phil Ford.

Ford starred at UNC in the 1970s running Dean Smith's famous "Four Corners" offense, won an Olympic gold medal while a sophomore and held the school's scoring record for decades until Tyler Hansbrough overtook him in 2008. He was the second overall pick in the NBA draft and was the league's Rookie of the Year in 1979.

He later served as an assistant coach for NBA teams as well as the Tar Heels, winning a National Championship with his old school in 1993.

Ford doesn't have experience as a business leader, but Chamber of Commerce President Bob Joyce said he still will have a meaningful message to deliver.

"We certainly want to honor him for his basketball skills, but I think he has a lot to say to the entrepreneurs in our community about persistence and stick-to-it-ness," Joyce said. "... I remember his freshman year, he had some disastrous games. And people forget he was just an 18-year-old kid playing among giants. But he persisted and become a star, an All-American, under Dean Smith."

Persistence is what the local business scene needs right now, Joyce said. Small businesses employ half of Americans and produce half of the country's economic output, he said, but they haven't rebounded from the recession quite as well as larger corporations.

"The next few years in Sanford are going to be good because of where we're located and what's going on around us ... but I think we've got maybe a few more months of really tough work," Joyce said. "And I think that's the message that Phil will bring: When the sky's dark, how do you get up and go at it?"

To buy tickets to the Thursday's banquet, visit the Chamber of Commerce office at 211 S. Steele St. or call (919) 775-7341. Tickets are $20 each.

 

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Small Business Banquet, hosted by the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: The Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, 1801 Nash St., Sanford. 

TICKETS: $20 each

TO LEARN MORE: Visit the Chamber of Commerce office at 211 S. Steele St. or call (919) 775-7341. Tickets are $20 each.