Dale Jr. on his adolescent benchwarming days 

April 04, 2014, Staff report,

Bobcats, North Carolina fan will root for Florida in the Final Four

MORE: Dale Jr.'s Daytona 500 victory now out on DVD

One day after tweeting a Throwback Thursday photo of his Oak Ridge Military Academy junior varsity basketball team, Dale Earnhardt Jr. explained why he joined the squad. With the Final Four in town as NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway, he also discussed his NCAA bracket and who he roots for in college hoops.


"I scored two points that year in military school," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I sat on the bench a lot being the smallest guy. I didn't have any skill."

"I only played because you got to leave campus for the road games. Being able to leave even for a day in military school was an amazing vacation just to be able to leave for a few hours because you would go after the game you would get pizza or whatever. You just didn't have those kinds of luxuries being on campus so that was pretty neat."

Earnhardt Jr. said that his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, found the photo, and he thought it would be fun to share. His sister also was one of his biggest fans, and her reaction told the tale of the lone bucket he scored on his J.V. team.

"I threw it up with my eyes closed," Earnhardt Jr. said. "The only way I knew it went in is because Kelley and everybody that was there, the 10 or 12 people that were there were screaming when it went in."

"So I knew it went in, but I never saw it. Some guy was jumping at me, and I just closed my eyes and threw it up."

Running both the NASCAR Nationwide Series race (Friday, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, FOX), Earnhardt Jr. had planned to attend the Final Four games on Saturday, but his plans changed.

"I have Florida winning my bracket so I'm kind of pulling for them I suppose," Earnhardt Jr. said. "But they are not my favorite team."

When asked who he roots for in college hoops, Earnhardt Jr. responded, "The Tar Heels. In college basketball I pull for the (University of North Carolina) Tar Heels."

Shown above with former Tar Heel and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan at the 2007 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Earnhardt Jr. is a fan of the Bobcats and has been tweeting about the team as it attempts to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.


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