My Friday Five: On Leslie Odom, Jr., Chelsea Theater & Milestones For Roy Williams

1. Leslie Odom, Jr. = INCREDIBLE

Boy, did I get a treat on Wednesday evening. I had the honor of seeing the multi-talented, Grammy and Tony Award-winning Leslie Odom, Jr. in Greensboro. He participated in Guilford College’s annual Bryan Series (the same series in which I saw Joe and Dr. Jill Biden a few months ago). Leslie read passages from his forthcoming book, Failing Up, did a Q&A with the audience and performed a few tunes - including "Wait for It" from Hamilton. Check out my Photography Page for photos from the event.

2. Chelsea Theater’s Future?

Could the future of Chapel Hill’s Chelsea Theater be in jeopardy? I saw a post from officials earlier this week on Facebook addressing the future of the small movie theater that shows various films, primarily those that are more limited-run. In it, officials said the Chelsea celebrated its 28th anniversary on November 16 and they are entering the final months of a five-year lease agreement. Officials went on to say that, with the owner’s “advancing years” they may not be comfortable entering into another five-year term and made a pitch for serious inquires to possibly transfer ownership. The full statement is below:

I truly hope the Chelsea can continue to thrive. I’ve been there several times over the years, all starting with what is still one of my all-time favorite films: The Kings of Summer.  When it was released in 2013, the Chelsea was the only theater in the area showing it, so I went - and I’m glad I did. The Chelsea is small but that highlights its charm. The people are friendly and, as an added bonus, the ticket and concessions prices are remarkably cheap for this day and age. I’ve never had a bad experience there and if I could make the plunge into ownership of it I would. Here’s hoping someone will step up to the plate!

3. Milestones for Coach Williams

UNC Men's Basketball head coach, Roy Williams, not only celebrated another win at his alma mater. He celebrated a couple of milestones as well: he now has 400 wins at UNC (200 in the Dean Smith Center) and has become the first coach in NCAA history to record at least 400 wins at two different schools. Coach Williams, of course, did it at Kansas and now at Carolina. He is undoubtedly, one of the greatest coaches of our time. Congrats, Coach Williams!

4. Braxton Beverly Update

After several appeals and hiring an attorney, the NCAA has finally made the right call and are granting N.C. State point guard, Braxton Beverly, a transfer waiver so he can be eligible to play for the Wolfpack this season. Beverly has been in a long fight for his eligibility this year after taking a couple summer courses at the school he was initially recruited to, Ohio State. Beverly was later granted a release from the school after officials fired head basketball coach, Thad Matta. After transferring to N.C. State, Beverly was told he had effectively become a student after taking said courses, which meant he would fall under the NCAA's transfer rule and sit out a year. After several denied appeals and an uprising of backlash from fans and sports experts alike, the NCAA "reconsidered" the decision and granted the waiver.

I'm so stoked for Braxton! This has been a long fight that really shouldn't have happened in the first place. As I wrote a couple weeks ago, it's a crying shame that a guy like Braxton has had to go through this when there are recruits - who should be finishing up their senior year in high school - choose to reclassify all to play at Duke, Kentucky, what have you right away with no penalty.

This is definitely an area of the sport in which NCAA officials need to address but, for now, I’m just glad this whole situation is done.

5. Congrats, Ryan and James

After a big meet for the N.C. State Men's Swimming and Diving team last Friday - in which it defeated three-time defending national champions, Texas - Ryan Held and James Brady were honored by the ACC. Held won ACC Swimmer of the Week contributing 29 of the Pack's 176 points in the meet on Friday en route to winning both of his events and was apart of the 200 medley relay team that took first place. The Pack now has the fastest relay time in the country, according to GoPack.com. Meanwhile, Brady earned ACC Diver of the Week honors after second place finishes on both the one and three-meter boards. Well done, guys!

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