Posts Tagged ‘Lorenzo Charles’
It’s a saying that’s thrown around by commentators, coaches and fans every March, when the NCAA basketball tournament kicks off. Survive and advance.
Teams can shake off poor shooting, too many turnovers or down-to-the-wire nail-biters. As long as a team wins, it survives for another day. And no team did that better than the 1983 Wolfpack. Of course it was the coach of that team, Jim Valvano, who coined the phrase to describe his team’s special knack for late-game heroics.
On this day in 1983, Lorenzo Charles’ out-of-nowhere jam with time expiring gave NC State’s men’s basketball team its second men’s basketball championship in nine years with a win over heavily favored Houston, 54-52.
Known as “the Cardiac Pack,” the team spent that March keeping its fans on the edge of their seats. Four of the Pack’s six NCAA tournament games went down to the final ticks.
NC State struggled to beat Pepperdine in the first round, escaping with a 69-67 victory in two overtimes. Thurl Bailey’s putback gave State a win over UNLV, 71-70, in the second round. Virginia missed buckets at the end of the exciting Elite Eight contest, giving State a 63-62 win.
And the final game on that Monday night didn’t break pattern, as Charles put in Dereck Whittenburg’s miracle 30-footer to answer fans’ prayers.
Recently, in a letter to the editor in The N&O, Jim Valvano’s brother, Bob, wrote that after that title, John Wooden wrote the Wolfpack’s coach a note, which he framed and kept at his office until he died of cancer in 1993.
Bob Valvano went on to write of this year’s team and its coach, Mark Gottfried. ” I am sure Jim would be thrilled,” Bob Valvano wrote, “that much of Gottfried’s success comes on foundations of one of his coaching heroes.”
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Bonnie McNeill did not mind the rough winds that made her plane rock as her charter flight descended in St. Louis this morning.
“Maybe the weather’s a good sign,” she said. “We had snow in ‘83.”
McNeill was referring to her trip to see the Wolfpack play in the Sweet 16 in Ogden, Utah, before making it to the Final Four the next week. She went on to watch NC State beat Houston for an NCAA title in Albuquerque, N.M., and points to that night as the last time she’s been as excited as she is about tonight’s match-up with Kansas.
In fact, she admits she was a little too excited that night. “You want me to tell you?” she asks when questioned about her reaction to Lorenzo Charles’ last-second shot in 1983. “I wet my pants.”
She thinks NC State’s current coach shows flashes of Jim Valvano.
“[Mark] Gottfried has done the same thing Valvano did,” McNeill says. “He believed in the guys and got them to believe in themselves.”
McNeill used to follow the Wolfpack around during tournament time in the 1980s with her husband, a graduate of NC State in the 1960s who has since died. She went on to serve as the chairwoman of the Guilford County Wolfpack Club for more than 10 years. And she made the trip to St. Louis today because of the belief her husband had in the team in 1983, when it looked like Valvano’s squad wouldn’t even make the tournament.
“My husband had that feeling,” she says. “I’ve got that feeling now. …State will find a way to win despite a Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, 72-70.”
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Robert and Sue
For 86-year-old Sue Daughtridge and her grandson, Robert, following NC State is a family affair. Whether it’s being at a football game together every fall–she never misses a home game–to special trips they take, Sue’s always decked out in red and white, carrying her Wolfpack handbag and cane.
That’s how Sue, who was named an honorary alumna in 2000, appeared this morning at the Raleigh-Durham airport, waiting for a flight to St. Louis, Mo., to watch the Wolfpack take on the Kansas Jayhawks tonight for a spot in the Elite Eight. “We’re excited,” Sue says, “and we’ll be even more so tonight about midnight.”
As they waited, both couldn’t help but talk about the 1983 championship team. Robert, now 28, wasn’t even born then, but a few years ago he and his grandmother made a pilgrimage to Albuquerque, N.M., to see the court where the Lorenzo Charles brought NC State the championship with his unexpected basket as time expired. “I’ve seen the court,” Robert says. “I saw the goal it was shot on.”
With such a rich basketball tradition, Sue cringes at the thought of some State fans not having their pulse on what could be another historic run. “I met a graduate last night who didn’t know State was playing,” she says incredulously. “I was ready to pop him.”
When they can’t travel, Sue catches the Wolfpack at the Hickory Tavern in Charlotte, where she lives. That’s where she saw NC State’s win over Georgetown Sunday. “It was the only game being played on the screen,” she says. “There’s 24 televisions all in a row with the State game on.”
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Photo courtesy of GoPack.com
Lorenzo Emile Charles, who scored the winning dunk for NC State in the 1983 NCAA national championship game, died in a bus wreck Monday afternoon near Cary.
Charles, 47, also briefly played with the Atlanta Hawks and played professional basketball in Europe for more than a decade.
After retiring from basketball, Charles returned to Wake Forest and drove buses for transportation companies. He was driving a bus for Elite Coach of Apex when the vehicle careened off Interstate 40 and crashed into some trees.
Charles, who regularly attended NC State basketball games, leaves behind his wife, Theresa. He will be forever remembered by Wolfpack fans for his buzzer-beating dunk during the 1983 NCAA Tournament against the favored University of Houston Cougars. The play gave NC State its second men’s basketball title.
Share your memories of that legendary game and post condolences to the Charles family on our blog’s comment section.
To read more about Charles’ career and to view a photo gallery from his time at NC State, visit GoPack.com. To watch a video of a 2008 interview with Charles, visit WRAL.com.
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Jason Gipe is the Alumni Association's new associate executive director for membership.
Jason Gipe ‘00, ‘05 MR was only five years old when he watched Lorenzo Charles slam home the 1983 national championship for NC State. But he knew then that he wanted to be a student at NC State.
And now, as the Alumni Association’s new associate executive director for membership, Gipe wants to help other NC State students and alumni enjoy being Red & White for Life.
We talked with Jason about his work at the Alumni Association and some of his experiences at NC State:
Favorite NC State memory: Basketball games at Reynolds Coliseum. My freshman year I lived in Owen Dorm, Room 152. It would be the dead of winter and you would have to put on shorts to walk over to Reynolds because you knew once you got in there you would absolutely burn up if you wore pants and a sweatshirt.
You should know that: I have a golden retriever named Finley, after Carter-Finley Stadium. I orginally wanted to get two and name the boy Carter and the girl Finley, but my wife would only let me get one.
His role at the Alumni Association: My team is in charge of customer service and reaching out to all of our members … trying to communicate what membership benefits are available to them. We are always working on new benefits. We want to make sure our members feel like they get value from their membership.
On the value of membership in the Alumni Association: According to member surveys we have done, the top benefit is the magazine. It really gives people the pulse of what’s going on on campus and tells great stories about alumni who have had success due to the education they received at NC State. There are also pretty substantial savings you can get by using our Savings Connection. Members can get half-price movie tickets, substantial discounts on televisions and other electronics, and great online deals from retailers like Target, Izod and Office Depot.
On what the Alumni Association does: I love NC State because of the experience I had when I was a student here. So I’m a bit partial to the student programs we do and the traditions we start. Part of every membership dollar goes toward our student ambassador program. They put on pep rallies. We do a Legacy Luncheon, where we invite alumni parents and their kids when they are coming in as freshman to a luncheon before the school year starts so their parents can pin them with an Alumni Association pin that says “Legacy” on it. We do the Ram Roast before every Carolina game. Most of what you see at homecoming is student-run through our student programs.
On why he’s Red & White for Life: A lot of what has happened in my life was set in that ‘83 championship game. I didn’t even apply anywhere else. This was the only place I wanted to go. From the time I set foot on campus, this place has meant so much to me that I couldn’t possibly think of wanting to work anyplace else.
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If you have a question about NC State basketball history, Tim Peeler ’87 probably has your answer. A Technician alumnus and former newspaper reporter, Tim is managing editor of GoPack.com, NC State’s official athletics website, and has been called the university’s “unofficial sports historian.” In late October, UNC Press published his book, NC State Basketball: 100 Years of Innovation. It’s a comprehensive look at the first century of Wolfpack men’s basketball, and it’s full of great pictures and interesting stories.
We caught up with Tim recently for a Q&A about the first 100 years of NC State men’s basketball. Later this week, we’ll post a Q&A with Tim’s co-author Roger Winstead ’87, as well as additional photos. Tim and Roger are scheduled to do a talk and book signing on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Assembly Room at D.H. Hill Library.
We all know names like Everett Case and David Thompson. Is there someone who was just as important to NC State basketball but who’s mostly forgotten?
Gus Tebell, NC State's head basketball coach from 1925 to 1930.
One of the most important is basketball/football coach Gus Tebell. He was a former All-America basketball player at Wisconsin under Dr. Walter Meanwell and a contemporary of Case, who crossed paths with Tebell when he went to Wisconsin in the early 1920s to learn under Meanwell. Tebell was the co-head coach of a professional football team right after he left college. He then came to NC State in 1924 as an assistant football coach for Buck Shaw.
When Shaw left after the 1924 season, Tebell was named head football coach. He also replaced Harry Hartsell as head basketball coach. He was the head coach when Thompson Gym opened. Tebell played the Meanwell System — short, intricate passes and set plays that resulted in a lot of points. That, coupled with the fact that he introduced bright red uniforms and had a star player named Rochelle “Red” Johnson, led writers to call his team the “Red Terrors,” a name that stuck for more than three decades.
Tebell is the only coach in the history of the Southern Conference (and its offshoot, the ACC) to win conference titles in both football (1927) and basketball (1929). He left NC State to be the head basketball coach and a football assistant at Virginia. While serving as Virginia’s athletics director and president of the Southern Conference, Tebell invited Converse shoe salesman Chuck Taylor, a longtime friend, to speak at the inaugural meeting of the Raleigh Touchdown Club, which was held during the Southern Conference basketball tournament at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in early March. When Taylor was asked who should be NC State’s next coach, he recommended Case.
You’ve done a lot of digging in archives and in the basement of Reynolds Coliseum. What’s the most interesting or unusual artifact or piece of memorabilia you found?
There was a box of magazines — Scholastic Coach, Coaching News, a handful of other now-defunct coaching magazines — stored up there, many of which were addressed to Case’s office in Reynolds or his home in Cameron Village. There were also a handful of Southern Conference and ACC Tournament programs, dating back to the late 1930s. And finally, several diagrams of Case’s fastbreak and halfcourt plays.
Case, Sloan and Valvano all had distinct coaching styles. What were they like and why were they such good fits for NC State?
Everett Case coaching in the 1950s.
Case was a marketer but not exactly a great floor coach. That’s why he had Butter Anderson, Lee Terrill, Vic Bubas and a handful of other capable assistants through the years. Case was a visionary off the court. He knew Reynolds Coliseum was the best arena in the South and that he could host (more…)
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