CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The University of North Carolina men’s basketball program announced Saturday that former player and UNC legend Lennie Rosenbluth has died at the age of 89.
Rosenbluth became a household name to many North Carolinians after leading an undefeated team to the NCAA National Championship in 1957, in a title game some say may have sowed the seed for the Tar Heel fandom we see today.
This win, led by Rosenbluth, who was also that tournament’s top scorer, was the first NCAA championship win for the program.
Born in the Bronx, Rosenbluth made his way to UNC to play under head coach Frank McGuire.
He played three seasons with the program, consistently averaging over 25 points-per-game in his tenure.
His final season in 1957, culminating with the NCAA championship, also saw him win the Helms Hall of Fame “Collegiate Player of the Year” over Wilt Chamberlain.
“He had such a dignity about him,” said Roy Williams. “The guys who came after him, they talked about Lennie with reverence. There was always something special about him.”
After his collegiate career, he was drafted to the Philadelphia Warriors, who he played with from 1957 to 1959.
Rosenbluth moved back to Chapel Hill with his wife in 2010, where he died a Tar Heel.