Blog Entry

Former N.C. State star Charles dies in bus crash

Posted on: June 27, 2011 8:17 pm
 
By Matt Norlander

He was why "they won it! ... On the dunk!"

Former North Carolina State star Lorenzo Charles was on the receiving end of Dereck Whittenburg's desperation heave at the end of the 1983 national title game. His deft dunk put the Wolfpack over the top of favored Houston, giving Jim Valvano and N.C. State the unexpected national championship.

Monday afternoon, Charles, 47, was killed in a bus accident in Raleigh, N.C. Charles was the driver of the bus, according to the Associated Press. There were no other injuries, as it was a one-vehicle accident.

"Elite Coach general manager Brad Jackson said Monday that Charles was driving a company bus on Interstate 40. Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue says the bus driver was killed and there were no passengers aboard," according to the report.

No other details from local police have emerged.

It's incredibly sad, and unfortunately makes Charles' life story all that much more interesting. He had a cup of coffee in the NBA after getting drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round in 1985. But he ended up finishing his pro career in Europe before retiring from basketball. Since then, what had he been doing with his life? Most recently, driving a bus for a transportation/limo company, clearly.

That detail adds a tinge of curiosity to this tragedy. The full story of Lorenzo Charles has yet to be told.

Here's the video we've all seen so many times, the improbable, unintentional connection between Whittenburg and Charles that capped off arguably the greatest run in NCAA tournament history.



Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:28 pm
 

Former N.C. State star Charles dies in bus crash

Yeahohyeah, you don't find it strange how the guy goes from being invloved in one of collge basketball's most iconic moments to driving a bus?
Sure make me wonder.
No need to bash the writer.

No, I don't find it strange. It happens all the time. Lorenzo Charles had a moment...just like Bryce Drew...just like Christian Laettner...just like so many others did that simply weren't good professional players. Charles wasn't a major NBA prospect coming out of college, he was the 17th player taken in the 2nd round. And yes, this is when there was 7 rounds, but like today, only the first 2 rounds really mattered.

He played at least into 1990 in Europe. Not bad, really.

Norlander made it sound like Charles was a bad guy with a miserable life who died driving a bus (how embarrassing!)

Charles was never in trouble with the law, and died doing a job that allowed him to support his family. The least Norlander deserved was a mild bash.



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 3:26 pm
 

Former N.C. State star Charles dies in bus crash

RIP Charles. Another good person's life ending way to short. Condolences to his family and friends.



Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 3:04 pm
 

Former N.C. State star Charles dies in bus crash

Condolences to the friends and family of Lorenzo Charles.



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2011 3:03 pm
 

Former N.C. State star Charles dies in bus crash

lorenzo  charles  rip      i  hope terry gannon  was told.  terry gannon  is doing  golf  this week  with a heavy heart i know



Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 2:32 pm
 

Former N.C. State star Charles dies in bus crash

Guys, if you are not old enough to have learned already, there is life after sports. Life goes on long after your "glory days" in the prime of your atheletic life. The guy was making an honest living driving a bus, what is the problem with that? Until you know what other peoples life journey is about then you should keep your personal judgement to yourself. I had seen an interview with Lorenzo long after he had "retired" from athletics and he appeared to be a very humble person.



Since: May 15, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:47 pm
 

Former N.C. State star Charles dies in bus crash

Yeahohyeah, you don't find it strange how the guy goes from being invloved in one of collge basketball's most iconic moments to driving a bus?
Sure make me wonder.
No need to bash the writer. 




Since: Mar 22, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 11:21 am
 

Former N.C. State star Charles dies in bus crash

Another athelete that was used by the NCAA which millions from his efforts and didn't even give the man enough education to hold a better job than a bus driver



Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 10:33 am
 

Former N.C. State star Charles dies in bus crash

Hey Norlander, what is so "interesting" about a man making an honest living by driving a bus? The difference between a guy like you and a man like Lorenzo Charles is that he had a real job. He didn't get paid an exorbiant amount of money for spending a couple of hours a day typing on a laptop. He got paid an honest wage for doing real work.

Get a life, loser.



Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 8:49 am
 

Former N.C. State star Charles dies in bus crash

Are you dumb yourself, if you cant spell dumb?  RIP to the NC State hero, may he rest in peace!



Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 6:48 am
 

Former N.C. State star Charles dies in bus crash

That's just dumb...the man died in an accident. He didn't die so that Jimmy V has someone to hug. When people don't understand why something happens, they make up dump reasons why. And no they are not playing basketball.


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