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Ex-NC State Hero Charles Killed Last June

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Former NC State basketball player Lorenzo Charles, one of the best-known names in NCAA tourney history, was killed last June in a bus wreck on Interstate 40 in Raleigh, NC. He was 47.

Charles is best known for slamming home the winning basket in the 1983 NCAA title game that gave the Wolfpack the national championship over Houston’s Phil Slama Jama. Charles fielded an airball by Dereck Whittenburg en route to the winning basket that sent coach Jim Valvano running in celebration.

Charles worked at a charter bus service called Elite Coach out of Cary, NC, and was driving the bus that crashed. We caught up with him in 2009 to talk about how he still basked in the glory of that dunk.

After NC State, he had a professional basketball career in the NBA, ABA and overseas that lasted from 1985-2001.

This year, there isn’t a true underdog program in the Final Four that could resemble the ‘83 Wolfpack. The 2011 version of NC State, which was a No. 11 seed, lost to Kansas in the Sweet 16.  Lorenzo Charles profile

 
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