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Mourners attend private service in honor of UNC’s Dean Smith

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Family, friends, former players and coaches gathered Thursday to honor the life of retired North Carolina coach Dean Smith.

Smith’s family held a private service for the Hall of Famer, who died Saturday at age 83. The service was held at Binkley Baptist Church, where Smith was a longtime member.

Among the coaches who attended: current UNC coach Roy Williams, a former Smith assistant; former UNC assistant and head coach Bill Guthridge; Duke Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski; and former Georgetown coach John Thompson — whose Hoyas faced Smith’s Tar Heels in the 1982 NCAA final.

Former players who attended included Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, Eric Montross and Brad Daugherty.

A public service is scheduled for Feb. 22 in the campus arena bearing the coach’s name.

The family has asked for people to donate to the Chapel Hill-based Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, the Dean E. Smith Opening Doors Fund or a charity of their choice in lieu of flowers.

The school said it created the Opening Doors fund in consultation with Smith’s family to support undergraduate UNC students who need “significant” financial assistance as well as graduate students in education and social work.

Smith retired in 1997 as the winningest men’s Division I coach with 879 wins, a record now held by Krzyzewski.

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