On June 27, 2011, North Carolina State legend, Lorenzo Charles died in a bus crash on interstate 40 in Raleigh, NC. When you think of magical moments in the history of NCAA basketball, the last-second dunk by Charles in the 1983 national championship game to defeat Houston 54-52, is as dramatic as it gets.
I can recall attending Lorenzo's funeral at Wake Chapel Church in Raleigh and I was somewhat taken aback by the church only being filled to half its capacity.
Maybe it was due to the upcoming July 4th holiday or people simply had forgotten the historical aspect of the dunk! No matter the reason, it bothered me for quite a while.
After the Villanova Wildcats defeated North Carolina, 77-74 on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Kris Jenkins in the 2016 NCAA Championship game, the debates immediately commenced. Charles' dunk or the Jenkins' three?
My mind automatically raced back to that Easter Monday in Albuquerque and the Wolfpack's major upset over the heavily favored Hakeem Olajuwon led Houston Cougars.
No matter who you believe had the best buzzer beater, there's no debating that without the heroics of Charles and the Cardiac Pack, we would've had to wait another 33 years to witness such a historical event. Also, there would've never been the legend and the legacy of Jim Valvano.
Thank you, Kris, for reminding the world of the heroics of Lorenzo Charles that for many had become a faded memory.