So I have a personal blog called “RejectedStones” that is primarily a Christian devotional site. On Twitter I received a few messages from Alex Johnson who has been a supporter of my site since before he arrived in Raleigh. Naturally, this got me thinking about both my blog and our basketball team. Something then dawned upon me: there is an uncanny NC State connection to the scripture that talks about “Rejected Stones”, at least in a metaphorical sense. Don’t worry; I’m not going to preach a lesson here!
This pops up several times in scripture, but the first instance of this “rejected stone” metaphor is in Psalm 118:19-23…
Open for me the gates where the righteous enter, and I will go in and thank the Lord.
These gates lead to the presence of the Lord, and the godly enter there.
I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory
The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
When you think about NC State athletics, think about what we have endured for the greater part of two decades, especially in hoops, but in many other sports as well. We have been a school that historically was much respected (you could even call us a cornerstone of the ACC) and since have fallen to nothing. Through the last coaching search, many people “realized” that NC State had hit rock bottom. LRM even wrote a great article that outlined his feelings regarding what NC State had been reduced to. It at least appeared like no one wanted our coaching position, we had been a complete joke for the past 5 years, at least in basketball, and we were being barraged by the media explaining that we should have been happy with where we were.
I think it’s safe to say that we were very “rejected” by all but the most reverent ACC purists.
Now think about what has occurred since April and over the past couple of basketball games. In a conference that we are told is dominated by two dynasty schools, we have landed top-notch talent (ranking as high as the #2 recruiting class in the nation by ESPN), despite competition from other elite programs, and are off to a strong start over our past two games. Even an AP article noted the upswing…
Gottfried has had a good start so far. The Wolfpack had a fast start in recruiting and announced a three-man signing class Wednesday ranked No. 2 nationally by ESPN. N.C. State also scored 102 points in Monday’s exhibition win against Flagler,…
It’s almost like before NC State could really achieve greatness, coming from the mediocrity it had hit under Sendek, it had to be completely broken down to a program that had nothing and what thought of as nothing… rejected, if you will… so that it could be rebuilt.
So now, all we are doing is watching as our new coach, new team, and new athletic department build NC State back to where it could be, not just in hoops but in all varsity sports. NC State was once a cornerstone of the ACC. We had our respectable, if not dominant, years on the gridiron, we competed for conference and national titles in basketball, and we were constant competitors in the other “non revenue” sports. We’ve fallen from that position and if you were to ask many younger fans (under the age of 25 or 30), then would reject the idea that NC State is a dominant member of the ACC.
Much like the scriptures, it takes a little faith to believe what could happen again at NC State. But, as the Wolfpack Nation lives and breathes, there will always be hope, and faith, that NC State will once again become the cornerstone that it once was. When that time comes, we will be able to take pride in being the stone that was rejected, returned to become the cornerstone.