The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has one of the richest college basketball dynasties in the country, but its other sports boast a wealth of success stories, too. Weaverville resident Tim W. Jackson has combined a trivia-buff’s eye for detail with a journalist’s knack for storytelling to write a book that celebrates all UNC athletes who have made it to the highest level of their sport.
Gone Pro North Carolina is currently available from Clerisy Press as part of its recently launched college-sports retrospective Gone Pro series. Tim will celebrate the book’s release on Thursday, April 10, with a gathering at The Hop Ice Cream Café at 640 Merrimon Ave. in Asheville. The event, which is open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. and Tim will have signed copies of the book for sale.
“It’s been a long process to get this book from idea to an object that can be held and read, so we just wanted to celebrate the end of one part of the process and the beginning of the other—the actual sales and marketing,” Tim says.
In addition, Tim says that his schedule is starting to fill with book signings: Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville April 12, The Regulator Bookshop in Durham April 25, City Lights Bookstore in Sylva April 26, Park Road Books in Charlotte May 3, Books-a-Million in Charlotte May 4, thus far.
Even non-alumni will recognize many of the athletes featured in Tim’s book, which is part history, part fact-guide, and all tribute to UNC’s athletic programs. Gone Pro North Carolina follows sports superstars such as Vince Carter, Mia Hamm, Michael Jordan, and Lawrence Taylor beyond their days in Carolina blue, while also looking at lesser-known athletes, such as Asheville legend Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice, whose legacy still permeates Chapel Hill, but has faded nationally over the last half-century.
What sets this book apart from other college sports titles, though, is how it goes beyond these athletes’ time at Chapel Hill. “The book explores the athletes’ place in Carolina history, yes,” Tim explains, “but then goes on to look at how they fared at the highest level of their respective sports—and in many cases, beyond.”
Tim began his career in publishing at just 17 years old, writing sports for his hometown newspaper in Alabama. With degrees in communications and creative nonfiction, Tim has worked full-time for such publications as Southern Living, Cooking Light, and Canoe & Kayak magazines in addition to teaching media and writing classes at the collegiate level, managing a number of online publications, and being a freelance writer and editor.
Gone Pro North Carolina is his first book. Tim says, “Whether a UNC alum, Tar Heel fan, or simply a resident of the Tar Heel state, Gone Pro North Carolina will make anyone proud to call North Carolina home.”
For more about Tim W. Jackson and his appearance schedule with Gone Pro North Carolina, visit his website timwhowritesfromhome.com.