Pack Nation Mourns Lorenzo Charles

NC State legend Lorenzo Charles passed away Monday evening when the tour bus he was driving veered off Interstate 40 and crashed. Here is a collection of stories this morning on the untimely death of the Wolfpack great.

NC State legend Lorenzo Charles died Monday evening when the tour bus he was driving veered off Interstate 40 and crashed. Here is a collection of stories this morning on the untimely passing of the Wolfpack great.


Friends, fans mourn Lorenzo Charles
Dan Wiederer, Fayetteville Observer
Ernie Myers tried everything he could Monday night to console Sidney Lowe.

As the two close friends absorbed the devastating news and connected on a phone call they never fathomed, neither knew what to say.

NC State Hero Beloved For More Than Basketball
Andrew Jones, Fox Sports
Lorenzo Charles brought people together.

He did so as a basketball player at N.C. State when he dunked Dereck Whittenburg's air-balled 30-foot jump shot as time expired to defeat Houston in the 1983 national championship game.

As Wolfpack coach Jim Valvano darted onto the court, scrambling like a water bug looking for someone to hug, basketball fans around the nation – many who cared nothing about N.C. State – were leaping for joy and amazement. Charles had just slammed down the most important dunk in basketball history, and millions of us were blessed and thrilled to see it.

Tudor: 'Lo' Will Be Missed
Caulton Tudor, News & Observer
he way things had to be done that season, Pam Valvano never got to see the final five or six minutes of any of the incredible games that led to N.C. State's even more incredible march to the 1983 NCAA basketball championship.

"I didn't see Lorenzo's shot," Valvano, now Pam Strasser, said through her tears Monday night. "I've seen it what seems like a million times since [in video replays], but I didn't see it that night in Albuquerque."

Everyone else did.

Wilmington Businessman Remembers Charles For More Than Just Winning Shot
Brett Friedlander, Wilmington Star News

Lorenzo Charles will live forever in the memories of N.C. State basketball fans because of the dramatic buzzer-beating dunk that gave the Wolfpack the most improbable of national championships in 1983.

Wilmington's Neal Richardson will always remember the former star player – who was killed in a bus accident near Raleigh on Monday – for a different, more personal reason.

It happened last January, the day after Richardson's father had passed away.

N.C. State basketball title hero Lorenzo Charles killed in bus wreck
Dan Wiederer, Fayetteville Observer
or nearly 30 years, Lorenzo Charles lived in a profound state of disbelief.

At the moment he caught that fateful airball in Albuquerque, N.M., and delivered the most iconic basket in N.C. State history, he couldn't believe what had happened.

It's evident in the replays from that night in April 1983, when his buzzer-beating dunk of Dereck Whittenburg's errant shot gave late coach Jim Valvano and the Wolfpack a 54-52 national championship over Houston.

1983 Hero Charles Passes Away
Tim Peeler,
"It was kind of a David and Goliath thing," Charles remembered some 20 years after the famous play.

Charles grew stronger and bigger during his final two years for Jim Valvano's Wolfpack, earning first-team All-ACC and All-America honors his senior season. He was taken with the 41st pick of the 1985 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks and played professionally in the NBA and overseas for more than a decade.

When he retired, he returned to Wake Forest, N.C., where he became a bus driver for various transportation companies in the Triangle. Monday, he was driving a bus for Elite Coach of Apex, N.C. According to reports, there were no passengers on the bus and no other injuries were reported in the accident.

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