ncaa-d1 flag

Steve Reed | The Associated Press | September 17, 2017

Carolina Panthers honor Tar Heels men's, Gamecock women's national championship teams

UNC men's and South Carolina women's championship teams were honored at a Carolina Panthers game.

Julius Peppers walked over and slapped high-fives with Luke Maye and Joel Berry and the celebration was on.

The Carolina Panthers honored members of the North Carolina Tar Heels men’s basketball team and South Carolina women’s basketball team -- both national champions -- prior to Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

Maye and Berry of the Tar Heels and A’Ja Wilson and Tyasha Harris of the Gamecocks served as the honorary “Keep Pounding” drummers before the game. They each pounded the drum once to signify the four quarters of the game.

Maye is a Huntersville, North Carolina native, located about 15 minutes north of Charlotte, and his family has season tickets to Panthers home games.

RELATED: North Carolina receives national championship rings at Tar Heels football game

“It’s pretty cool,” Maye said. “It’s a lot of fun being able to come out here and do something I have always dreamed of growing up watching Panthers games. It’s a big honor and to honor Sam Mills is pretty cool opportunity.”

The Panthers team mantra has been “Keep Pounding” ever since 2012 when late Panthers player and coach Sam Mills used the phrase before a playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys. Mills later died of cancer and is honored with a statue outside the stadium.

Peppers, who played basketball at North Carolina, had a wide, proud smile on his face as he congratulated Maye and Berry.

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, a North Carolina native who attended college at Wofford College in South Carolina, made sure to incorporate both states when the Panthers received an NFL franchise in 1993. He named the team the “Carolina Panthers” rather than the “Charlotte Panthers” to honor both states and bring fans in from around the area.

“I can’t put into words how excited I am,” said Wilson, who grew up in Columbia, S.C. “I’ve always been a Panthers fan growing up so just to be a part of it and be out here with my teammate is just a lot of fun. I have been a fan since Julius Peppers the first time around.”

Here's where US Olympic baseball team members played in college

Baseball is back as an Olympic sport for the first time since the 2008 Games. Here's who is representing the United States in Tokyo, and where some of the members played college baseball.
READ MORE

These college basketball teams and conferences have the most NBA first-round draft picks

Kentucky, North Carolina and Duke are the college basketball teams with the most first-round picks in NBA draft history.
READ MORE

The 9 winningest college baseball teams in NCAA history

It's safe to say that the winningest school in college baseball history won't be caught for a long, long time (if ever).
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners