WRAL: Small town Raleigh marveled at 74 Wolfpack

A great retrospective done by Dane Huffman at WRAL.com. Click here.

Then came in 1974 – and Raleigh became the epicenter of a story that would change college basketball. Duke was amazing in 1992, and North Carolina was phenomenal in ’82. But State was unique, in its talent and its time. The fading films and black and white photos still evoke an amazing team that remains the ACC’s best.

David Thompson, of course, was surreal. Everyone remembers his ability to leap and grab Monte Towe’s alley-oops, but when you see him on film again you’re stunned at how quickly and accurately he shoots. Give him a three-point line and a chance to dunk and he’d be unbelievable. He remains, hands down, the most talented player to grace an ACC court.

Thompson’s impact extended beyond the court. Polite and thoughtful, he was admired by whites still adjusting to watching blacks on their ACC teams. The love Thompson and his teammates shared was an important symbol in a society still learning to sit side by side.

As a complement to WRAL’s entry I felt as though this previous entry would be of high interest to our readers.

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63 Responses to WRAL: Small town Raleigh marveled at 74 Wolfpack

  1. BillyTheKid 07/17/2008 at 8:45 AM #

    Beeker in a neckbrace, okay. I see what you are saying now.

  2. Wolf Dog 07/17/2008 at 10:21 AM #

    Hate to see ya’ll going after someone’s Mom. Laettners are a really nice good group of people. Christian Laettner’s sister is a teacher and was the assisitant volleyball coach on my daughter’s team. Really great group of people!!

  3. BillyTheKid 07/17/2008 at 11:14 AM #

    Wolf Dog, I was trying to say that it seems Noah has other issues with Laettner other than what he did on the BB court at Duke. And before for you start Noah, I agree with you 93.786% of the time and I really enjoy reading what you have to say 100% of the time. Okay, everybody happy?!?

  4. Noah 07/17/2008 at 11:45 AM #

    Wolf Dog, as usual, is lying. I’ve met Laettner and he’s easily the biggest a**hole on the planet. No one would think those people were anything more than pond scum. John Wayne Gacy would be offended by the Laettners. C. Laettner was such a jerk, Bobby Hurley had to apologize for him. When you’ve embarrassed Jersey City boys, you’ve really crossed a line.

    But Danny Ferry was a jerk too (not as big of a jerk as the Laettner’s, mind you. No one is…) and I think he was a great college player. Far, far better than Laettner. Miles better.

    And just so we can offer a little ballast here, Jeff Mullins (who I mentioned earlier) and Grant Hill couldn’t be nicer people. So it’s not an anti-Dook thing (this time).

  5. Wolf Dog 07/17/2008 at 2:57 PM #

    BillyThe Kid “…it seems Noah has other issues…”

    I totally agree! Now he claims he has met Christian Laettner. Who hasn’t? of course in Noah’s case he met him with a ticket to a NCSU game bought by his father’s bigot friend if we all remember that is how he claims he went to State games. And given Noah’s anti everything UNX loving views of everything, who wouldn’t expect Christian Laetttner or anyone to be a total ass towards him. Maybe Laettner was trying to stop him from burning down Reynolds or the RBC Center like he’s threatened to do. Maybe being in that crowd that Noah claims he was in yelling racial slurs didn’t help people like him either. I can see otherwise nice people coming off like a jerk to Noah, who wouldn’t?

    Danny Ferry was a jerk to him now also. Guess Danny Ferry didn’t kiss baby Noah or something back in the 70’s. Did he refuse to change your diaper?

    I still say Noah is the biggest Carolina Fan on here. His comments are anti Wolfpack and a bunch of garbage.

  6. Wolf Dog 07/17/2008 at 3:08 PM #

    Noah ” DT’s career was already over when he hurt his knee”

    You have no idea what you talking about. Now you claim you was DT’s agent.

  7. EverettBeez 07/18/2008 at 11:49 AM #

    So, if WolfDog-Noah slap fight is done . . .
    Intergration at NC State – The first black students entered the university in 1956, 2 in that summer, 2 in the fall, all male. Manuel Crockett and Irwin Holmes both ran track for State, making it the first integrated team. Holmes then switched to tennis, where he went on to be elected co-captain of the team.

    Football’s first African-American player was Marcus Martin who walked on in 1966. He was from Virginia, and attended school on a Pulp & Paper Foundation scholarship. In three years he got less then an hour of playing time, and quit after being demoted to the 3rd team. Clyde Walker walked on in 1968, and got more playing time.
    Coach Edwards resisted recruiting black players because he didn’t want to put them in a social situation where they wouldn’t enjoy college. He did finally recruit to Raleigh players – Willie Burden and Charlie Young, both Enloe students/graduates, in 1970. they became State’s first black scholarship players in football.

    Basketball was integrated in 1967 when Al Heartley of Clayton and William Cooper of Raleigh both walked-on. Heartley earned a scholarship and varsity spot for the 68-69 season under Norm Sloan.

    Two final points on DT. He avg 35.6 pts a game on the freshman team.

    Lou Pucillo, all-american and ACC Athlete of the year (’58-59) played against Oscar Robertson in the 1958 Dixie Classic. I believe this Robertson’s Cincinnati team was the first integrated team to play in the South. Pucillo said in 1975 that “Big O” was the best player he ever saw . . . before DT. Cincinnati was ranked #1 in the country when they came to Raleigh that Christmas. State won 69-60 in the semi’s, and then beat #2 Michigan for the championship of the tourny.

  8. redfred2 07/19/2008 at 12:22 PM #

    Thanks Beez, and I’m not just talking about the final part, and helping me in my quest to convince everyone that DT was truly THE BEST EVER, but for a good history lesson and GREAT STUFF all-around!!!

    I love to talk about DT, but I have deleted an encyclopedia worth of rambling thoughts from this single box already today anyway.

    The sad thing, and I’m forewarning everybody, this is DEEP, but when I see and hear people who clearly have every right, backed up with every FACT upon which to stake a LEGITIMATE claim, who should be proud of being a part of something that is the very best of ANYTHING, they just cannot do it. They allow outside influences and some kind of unnecessary and overriding guilt to rise up out of no where, and to sway their own opinions so much so, that they would rather concede the obvious, and just forfeit it all away.

    Now, like I said at the very start, that might sound a little too deep for this format, like it’s totally political, like maybe I’m talking about some people’s very jaded and unbalanced perceptions of a certain nation and so on, or their willingness to roll around in and enjoy all of it’s accomplishments while at the very same time putting it down at every opportunity, but that’s not it at all.

    Jeez, this is all simply about a willingness to admit the truth about the talents of a certain BASKETBALL PLAYER, for crying out loud! Do lighten up out there people.

    😉 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 🙂 😉

  9. EverettBeez 07/19/2008 at 12:51 PM #

    The inability to handle fame & wealth is a common flaw, and often causes folks who are blessed to crash and burn. The lucky ones recover. The NFL has recognized that as it now tries to mentor young players, and keep them out of trouble.

  10. redfred2 07/19/2008 at 1:00 PM #

    Actually Beez, I re-read my own comment and see where you are coming from, but when I typed it that top part had nothing at all to do with DT’s plight. Just between you and me 😉 wink, wink, nod, nod, but it actually WAS a very weakly disguised, political statement.

  11. EverettBeez 07/19/2008 at 3:29 PM #

    Ah, I’ve got it now. I guess I was skimming the surface instead of plumbing the full depths. I couldn’t agree with you more.
    but we might be talking to ourselves – I think most of the group moved on after the slap-fight, so missed my must excellent and educational post, and yours as well.

  12. redfred2 07/19/2008 at 7:56 PM #

    “we might be talking to ourselves”

    Hell, that’s alot more than I expected anyway. I usually type out my ‘to do’ and groceries lists for the week at about this point, so I’m surprised that even you hung with me this long. THANKS Beez!

  13. EverettBeez 07/19/2008 at 9:12 PM #

    I’ve been checking to see if anyone would comment on that short history capsule, so thanks for reading it redfred2.

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