​Vasco Evtimov left the ​UNC Tar Heels basketball program in 1999 after receiving an offer to play professional basketball in Greece. Foregoing his final two seasons of eligibility, Evtimov still promised his mentor, Coach Dean Smith, that he would return someday, no matter what, to obtain his degree, proving how much his time on campus meant to him.


On Sunday, Evtimov ​fulfilled that promise and graduated from UNC with a degree in communications at the age of 41.

Hope you're watching, Coach.


Evtimov averaged 2.8 points and 2.9 rebounds through 38 collegiate games. However, he redshirted during the 1997-98 season because he had to complete a mandatory ten months of French military service.


Prior to leaving, Evtimov promised that he would return to school in order to earn his degree. 

Fast forward to 19 years later: Evtimov rented an apartment near campus for the past five semesters in order to earn the credits necessary to walk in graduation. During that time, he helped the university's basketball program by ensuring all players on the roster were attending their classes.


20 years later, Evtimov achieved the goal he set for himself and his late head coach, who he knows was smiling down on him as he walked the stage to receive his degree this weekend.