Honored Players Return For 100 Years of Hoops

RALEIGH, N.C. – As part of its celebration of 100 years of men's college basketball, NC State will recognize each of the former players, coaches and support personnel whose jerseys, whistles and microphones have been honored or retired, beginning with Saturday's ACC home opener against Virginia.

At least one of the 27 honored members will be recognized at the Wolfpack's ACC home games. Former All-America forward and long-time NBA player Thurl Bailey, now an announcer for the Utah Jazz television broadcasts, is slated to attend Saturday's game against Virginia.

Throughout the rest of the season, other players will be recognized during games at the RBC Center.

"These are the guys who are the foundation of our program," said Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe. "As Coach [Monte] Towe says, these are the guys who dug the well. It is up to us now to keep that tradition and that pride in our basketball heritage going."

Not every honored player will be able to return, including NBA head coaches Nate McMillan and Vinny Del Negro and former ACC Player of the Year Julius Hodge, who is playing professionally in Australia. But they won't go unrecognized.

And two honored players, Lowe and Towe, will be otherwise occupied during games.

The families of the eight deceased players and coaches who have been honored will represent them in the regular-season finale against Boston College on March 7.

"There have been so many people during the first 100 years of NC State basketball who have made significant contributions," said NC State athletics marketing and web operations director Chris Alston. "We hope fans take this opportunity to show their appreciation as we invite back these players who jerseys are honored and retired at the RBC Center."

NC State is one of just 14 NCAA schools to win multiple national titles, in 1974 and '83, since the tournament began in 1939. The Wolfpack has appeared in three Final Fours, won 10 ACC Championships and won seven Southern Conference Championships.

NC State began playing intercollegiate basketball on February 16, 1911, with a game at Wake Forest. The first contest was played at Wake's old campus, about 20 miles north of Raleigh. The more-experienced Baptists, who began fielding varsity basketball in 1905, won the inaugural contest, 33-6. The second – and final – game of the first season was played five days later on the NC State campus at Pullen Hall, which had a second-floor auditorium that was far smaller than the recommended size. NC State won that game 19-18, in front of about 50 spectators.

The NC State team was organized by the executive secretary of the YMCA, John Bergthold, and led by students Percy Bell Ferebee of Elizabeth City, N.C., and Guy K. Bryan of Tampa, Fla.

Next fall, in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of that first season, the school plans to publish a book by GoPack.com managing editor Tim Peeler that encompasses the history of the first century of college basketball at NC State.

Peeler, a 1987 NC State graduate and a member of the athletics department since 2004, has written two previous books about Wolfpack hoops, including Legends of NC State Basketball (2004) and When March Went Mad: A Celebration of NC State's 1982-83 National Championship (2007), which was recognized by USA Book News as one of the top sports books of the year.

Publication details and ordering information will be available at a later date.

NOTE: Single-game tickets for all remaining home basketball games went on sale Wednesday evening at 9 p.m. Tickets for the Duke and North Carolina games are $35 and all others are $25. For more information, visit the GoPack.com Ticket Center or call the NC State Ticket Office at (919) 865-1510.

Pack Pride Top Stories