Tuesday, June 28, 2011

You will never be forgotten!

We all remember the night, the broadcast, the game,The Pit in Albuquerque, and a miracle that will be talked about forever and then some. NC State lost a legend. Lorenzo Charles lost his life in an unfortunate accident off of Interstate 40 exit ramp yesterday. Growing up here and being a fan of their rival in Chapel Hill. The name Lorenzo Charles became a icon in the State of North Carolinas rich basketball tradition in April of 1983. Seconds remained and we all remember the call by Wally Ausley(NCState announcer). Some of us had to listen to the game on a clockradio hidden under our pillow at Military School. It was after taps and some of us were hoping not to get caught listening. State had come out of a time out with 44 seconds left. I remember States offense was perimeter oriented and relied heavily on outside shots. They shot their way back into a game where Houston could not hit a freethrow at all. Like Jimmy V PREACHED "We want to be in a position to win the game at the end". Whittenberg shoots his 35 ft prayer and Charles answered it with 2 seconds left. Making this night one of the most memorable ever. He became a stud for the Pack his last two years. Had a little run with the NBAs Atlanta Hawks and in European Leagues. He had many friends abroad and on facebook. Also had an enormous smile and zest for life. Jimmy V will hug and take care of him. Lorenzo you will never be forgotten.


Ken White said...

Everyone remembers the dunk. I think you could probably write a book, or at least a really good paper about the impacts that that single moment had on anyone who loves NC State. Without writing a book here, I'll throw out some food for thought. One philosophy of my life is that you never know what things are good and what things are bad in life. Short of death, something that seems bad may in the long run be good. I think you could make an argument that for NC State, it is really hard to tell whether that dunk was good or bad. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, and winning championships is really hard, who knows if we ever would have gotten back there. BUT, I once heard Coach K say that it came too early for Valvano. For someone with so much drive, energy, enthusiasm, smarts, etc, reaching your ultimate goal at such an early age was hard, and was a huge factor in why Valvano started off in so many different directions that distracted him from coaching and made him such a target for the book that eventually ended his coaching career.

I'm sure Lorenzo never regretted the dunk and what it meant to people who he heard from every single day of his life. But I am afraid to some extent that one moment overshadowed what he accomplished after it. The summer after the dunk, Lorenzo hit the weight room and became one of the strongest, meanest, toughest inside forces I have ever seen on a basketball court. He was nearly unstoppable. While overshadowed a bit by players like Jordan and Bias, he became very Barkley like. I'm not really sure what kept him from being a great pro, but for 2 years he was amazing at NC State and that is mostly forgotten because of that one moment when March went Mad.

It is very sad that Lorenzo is gone all of us will miss him. Damn, it sucks to get old.