Many Carolina fans remember the Tar Heels loss to Georgetown in last year’s NCAA basketball Elite 8.
Yet true Tar Heel fans also know that the loss paled in comparison to the tragedy of a few days prior, when Jason Ray was hit by a car and lost his life. Ray was the “man behind the mask”, serving as UNC’s fabled mascot Ramses.
As news spread of the accident, there were numerous accounts of Ray which all painted him in the same light – as a giant of a man who had a unique air about him.
ESPN has composed an incredible look at Ray and the many lives that were changed forever through his death. The piece is excellent, and worth the 20-30 minutes it will take to read the whole thing.
As I read the article yesterday, I was overcome with a deluge of emotions. I never knew Jason Ray personally, though I found out soon after the accident that we attend the same church in Durham and that one of his roommates is an acquaintance of mine from UNC. The article is incredible, though, because by reading it you get such a powerful look at Ray and who he really was. He was a man who lived life to the full, compelled by his faith, and was committed to sharing this life with others. In the end, that’s exactly what he did.