UNC legend Phil Ford recovering after surgery for prostate cancer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina basketball legend Phil Ford is recovering after undergoing surgery Tuesday for prostate cancer.

Ford was diagnosed with prostate cancer after a recent physical.

“As soon as I was given the news, I called Coach (Roy) Williams and he recommended Dr. Wallen,” Ford said in a news release. “I can’t thank Roy enough for making a great referral, as well as Dr. Wallen, the urology team at UNC and the Lineberger Cancer Center. I’m in a really good place spiritually and know I’m in the best place in the hands of God, Dr. Wallen and the staff at UNC Hospitals. I’ll manage this with their help and the support of my family and friends.”

A native of Rocky Mount, Ford was the ACC Tournament MVP in 1975, the 1978 national player of the year, the 1979 NBA rookie of the year, an assistant coach with the Tar Heels from 1988 to 2000, and an NBA assistant coach for seven seasons, the release said.

Ford was inducted in 2012 in the College Basketball Hall of Fame. He is also second all-time in scoring and third in assists in Carolina history.

“Phil is one of a handful of people who, when you say his name, you think he is Carolina basketball,” Williams said in a statement. “He certainly is one of the most beloved players who has ever played here. We’re glad they caught this when they did, and all of our prayers are with Phil and his family. He’s getting the best care possible with Dr. Wallen and his team.”