Bailey: "It Was Really Special"

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- NC State legend Thurl Bailey discusses his tour of the White House and meeting President Barack Obama.

"Wow.. it was a very surreal moment.  There's a lot of anticipation... when you're finally in the room and finally in the White House... you know the President is on the way and he walks into the room, it hits you. It's amazing.  Not a lot of people get to be in the position we're in."

"He knows the story.  He's a big sports fan, a big basketball fan, and you're having a conversation.  It's not a speech, it was a conversation with the President about basketball.   It was really special."

"I'm sure we would have enjoyed it as college kids... we were national champions, but for whatever reason I'm glad it happened now.  Now we're living our lives, we're older, and we have other people that are here to share that with us. We understand the significance of it."

"First I think he'd say Thurl I'm proud of you for putting this in motion... he would have been out of that box so fast.  We miss [Jim Valvano], Quentin Leonard, who was a senior on that team; his son was actually with us.  Coach McLean and Lorenzo Charles... it's not just a time for us to experience something really amazing for all of us, but also a time for us to remember those guys who aren't with us."

"I'm sure they have a sense of brotherhood, but it's about the dream, it's not just about being a champion and winning that final game. It's about all those things we had to go through, being the little guy no one was paying attention to who ultimately achieves the greatest reward and no one was expecting it."

"He had some light humor. We asked about him playing ball... he looked at us and said some of you guys look like you can still go at it.  Just to be able to have that banter... it was a great moment."

"The really nice thing was he spent time with us but went over and talked to our better halves... he talked to our wives."

"It was an enjoyable time."


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