Once a Tar Heel, always a Tar Heel. At least that's the way Marvin Williams sees it.
And when it comes to being a good ol' Butler Bulldog, well, Gordon Hayward's one for life.
The UCLA Bruins? That'd be Earl Watson.
Roll Tide? See Mo Williams.
With the exception of center Al Jefferson, who came to the NBA directly from Prentiss, Miss., the Utah Jazz roster is filled with men who played college basketball. Most take pride in following the fortunes of their alma mater, but none as much as Mo and Marvin; Earl and Gordon.
The very mention of his beloved North Carolina Tar Heels brought out a excited reaction from Marvin Williams, who played just one season at UNC, but remains close to the program eight years later.
"I always follow them," he said, his eyes lighting up and his voice rising. "I spoke to James Michael just yesterday."
James Michael McAdoo, that is. He's UNC's leading scorer so far this season.
Back in 2005, Williams was named Freshman of the Year and helped the Tar Heels win the national championship. Teammate Sean May was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Williams now plays for the Jazz but May, who spent four seasons in the NBA, is currently playing in Europe. Last week the two chatted long distance while the Tar Heels played in the Maui Invitational in Lahina, Hawaii.
"He's in France, you know," Williams said. "He stayed up (until) 2 o'clock in the morning to watch them. So, we try to keep a close follow on those guys for sure."
Perhaps Williams and May were watching on Nov. 20 when Butler upset the No. 9-ranked Tar Heels in the second round at Maui. If they were, they surely came away disappointed.
Of course Hayward didn't.
Hayward helped put Butler basketball on the map. Back in 2010 he and the Bulldogs came through the West Regional in Salt Lake City, beating Syracuse and Kansas State to reach the Final Four.
They became the darlings on the tournament and the ultimate Cinderellas as they reached the finals and nearly beat Duke on Hayward's desperation shot at the buzzer.
He's no longer on campus, of course, but you better believe Hayward is still a Bulldog at heart. He carefully monitored their games on TV last week as they upset Marquette and North Carolina in Maui.
"They didn't get the job done all the way but I think they surprised some people (by beating) North Carolina," he said. "You've got to know, coach (Brad) Stephens is going to have a game plan for those guys."
Now in his third season in the NBA, Hayward said he watches the Bulldogs on TV and feels a bit nostalgic.
"Yeah it does, it definitely does," he said. "I miss playing high school. It's something that when you go to the next level you always miss where you came from. It's fun watching them play."
Mo Williams played basketball at Alabama and still follows the team, but these days he takes special pride in the 'Bama football team.
He even owns a crimson colored Dodge Challenger, just to show he's all about the Crimson Tide.
"With the Alabama plates and floor mats and everything," he said.
And then there's Watson, who has said "basketball saved my life," referring to the way it took him from a tough section of Kansas City, Mo. to Westwood, Calif. and UCLA's Pauley Pavilion.
He played for the Bruins from 1997-2001 and forged a bond with legendary coach John Wooden, who remained close to the program until his death at age 99.
Playing at UCLA gave him some incredible opportunities, not the least of which was becoming friends with coach Wooden.
No wonder the Bruins means so much to him.
"It's like a tie that keeps you bonded forever," he said.