One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for December 11, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
I do not think I am different than most people when it comes to being exposed to great people who have generous hearts. At this time of year we often see the best in human beings as they find ways to help those in need.
I also think that most people have witnessed family, friends, or co-workers experience great pain and sorrow but somehow find the courage, faith, and determination to move on in a positive way. One of those friends for me is James Carroll. James has had a long and distinguished career as a pharmacist. He currently lives in Wrightsville Beach NC but for most of his life he called Lumberton, NC home.
James is a fanatical UNC Tar Heel fan and he truly wears his colors on his sleeve. He is also a huge sports fan.
Pam and James Carroll shown with their grandchildren at UNC Kenan Stadium
James lost a son in the 1990’s. His name was Jimmy and he died while he was still enrolled at Lumberton High School. The accident that took his life occurred while he was putting a ski boat on a lift. His loss was not only painful to James but the entire community.
As I learned later Jimmy Carroll was a “gym rat” and loved the sport of basketball. He was a popular and athletic young man that was loved by his coaches and teammates. He exhibited the qualities that every coach wanted to have on his/her team.
At the time Jimmy died I was a college basketball coach at Winthrop University and did not know the family. After Jimmy died his parents and friends created a scholarship to honor him. The Jimmy Carroll Memorial scholarship originally was administered by the family. After a few years that was becoming too painful.
In 1998 I became the athletic director at UNC Pembroke and shortly after I arrived I went to see James and his wife Pam at their home on Roslyn Drive in Lumberton, NC to listen to what UNC Pembroke could do to assist with the scholarship. That meeting resulted in the scholarship being transferred to the Athletic Department at UNCP.
The Carroll’s decided to have the Jimmy Carroll Memorial Scholarship awarded to an undergraduate UNC Pembroke student athlete who was eligible under NCAA academic requirements. They also had a strong preference that the award go to a Lumberton High School graduate or, if none is available, a resident of Robeson County. Since 1999 that has been happening. James and his wife have also been faithful contributors to that scholarship on a regular basis. They have found a way to channel the tragedy of losing a son into changing someone’s life thru education.
Last month James and Pam Carroll came to UNCP for our Annual Scholarship Donors Dinner and met the recipient of the Jimmy Carroll Memorial Scholarship -Austin Locklear from the UNC Pembroke Football Team.
The Friend-JAMES CARROLL-shown with UNC great Phil Ford
The Friend of the Friend-AUSTIN LOCKLEAR
Carrying on the Legacy of Jimmy Carroll
Austin is the son of Jennifer and Barry Locklear and has a younger brother, Colby. While in high school Austin replicated the type of grades that Jimmy Carroll had by maintaining a 3.6 cumulative grade point average at Purnell Swett High School and he graduated in the top 12 percent of his 404-member senior class .
Austin is studying criminal justice at UNCP. Austin as a sophomore played in all ten games for UNC Pembroke this past season. He has been a member of the PBC Presidential Honor Roll which goes to athletes that maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher.
Thanks to James and Pam Carroll some other young person is carrying on the legacy of their late son Jimmy Carroll. It takes special people to make that happen and James and Pam are that kind of special.