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UNC basketball legends turn out for Dean Smith’s funeral in Chapel Hill

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Even death cannot stop Dean Smith from teaching.

A private memorial service for North Carolina’s Hall of Fame basketball coach, who died Saturday at age 83, was held Thursday morning at the church Smith attended for more than four decades, Binkley Memorial Baptist on U.S. 15-501 in Chapel Hill, the News & Record reported.

The service was open to family, close friends and Tar Heels basketball letter-winners.

One of those letter-winners was Pearce Landry of Greensboro, a minister, coach and part-time financial adviser who played for Smith from 1992 to ’95.

Landry said the pastor told the packed church that Smith planned his own funeral, hand-picking scripture passages and hymns.

“I know Coach Smith was smiling today,” Landry said, “because he was still the teacher and we were all the students. He probably had a lot of joy as we were sitting in the pews listening. He reminded us where true life is found: in a personal relationship with God and how we treat our fellow man. Even at his funeral, he was teaching us.”

READ MORE: News & Record