Dave Tompkins, Grantland:
Prior to the Pack turning a 30-foot airball into the most memorable on-court bear-hug hunt of all time and sports, I only knew State through David Thompson. The first player to be certified as “Skywalker,” Thompson acquired a nice Embers song in his name while helping the Wolfpack to a title in 1974. Dunking was prohibited at the time, an injustice to someone with a 44-inch rise. I can’t decide if Thompson should be declared a national basketball treasure for “reluctantly” scoring 73 points in one game or for breaking a backboard on Bill Walton’s head. Sadly, the Skywalker was never the same after the stairs of Studio 54 blew out his knee during a fight with a bouncer in 1984.
In the fall of ’88, I began my freshman year in the red. I attended the wrong Shakespeare class with benchwarmer Brian D’Amico.Chris Corchiani dated my best friend’s ex. Rodney Monroe sat in the back of sociology class. The late Lorenzo Charles would roll up to the student center in a blue Benz so we could clock his alumni status. But I could barely walk to class — after studying the MRI,4 my doctor determined that my knee was held together by angel hair pasta.5 After reconstructive surgery, I awoke in post-op absolutely skying on Dilaudid, watching State lose to Murray State in the first round. I was then demoted down to morphine and watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 on a perpetual-motion machine.
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