1983 | Where are they now?

N.C. State played eight players in the 1983 NCAA championship game

November 21, 2012 

Sidney Lowe

Against Houston: Played all 40 minutes. Typical Lowe performance: Game-high 8 assists, 0 turnovers, 8 points.

In his words: “I started basketball when I was 7 years old. Back then, the only dream was to play in junior high. When I made that, the dream was to play in high school. When I made that, the dream was college, and the national championship.”

Wolfpack career: Left N.C. State with single game (18), single season (271) and career (762) assists records. Still the ACC’s career leader in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.94/1). Two-time All-ACC.

Now: Assistant coach with the Utah Jazz. Lives in Raleigh.

Dereck Whittenburg

Against Houston: Finished with 14 points and one assist – not including the most famous “pass” in Final Four history.

In his words: “I told Lorenzo to be ready for the ‘pass.’ It was designed that way all along. ... When I got the ball, I couldn’t see the clock. I didn’t want us to go into overtime without getting a shot off, so I just put it up. I really didn’t know where the goal was or how far away I was. When I looked up, I saw Lorenzo grabbing and putting it back.”

Wolfpack career: Ranks 28th in scoring (1,272 points).

Now: Analyst with ESPN. Lives in New York.

Lorenzo Charles

Against Houston: He struggled, hitting just 1 of 6 shots before The Dunk. He finished with 4 points, 7 rebounds.

In his words: “I knew when Whit let the shot go that it was short. I didn’t know where Akeem was, just that he was behind me. I knew I was the closest one to the basketball. I just went up and dunked it.”

Wolfpack career: Finished with 1,535 points, at the time 10th in Wolfpack history. Led Pack in scoring his final two seasons. Had four 30-point games; only eight players had more.

Now: Charles died in a bus crash in June 2011. He was 47.

Thurl Bailey

Against Houston: Scored a team-high 15 points in 39 minutes.

In his words: “For a second, I wasn’t sure about anything. I thought: ‘That didn’t really happen, did it?’”

Wolfpack career: Scored 1,495 points in his career, at the time 11th in Wolfpack history. First in career blocked shots (207), a stat kept since 1976.

Now: Announcer with Utah Jazz.

Cozell McQueen

Against Houston: Only scored 4 points, but grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds, including the one to set up N.C. State’s winning shot.

In his words: “We were practicing . . . and in walks the Houston players. They were to practice after we finished. But they had on shades and Walkmans. We were like, ‘Who are these guys, the Globetrotters?’ They were like rock stars.”

Wolfpack career: Finished with 715 points and 121 blocks, fifth-most in program history since 1976. Biggest basket might have been his follow shot to force overtime against Pepperdine in the opening round.

Now: Long-stance truck driver, lives in Cary.

Terry Gannon

Against Houston: Made 3 of 4 shots, finished with 7 points and 2 assists in 18 minutes.

In his words: “It was helter-skelter at that moment because the ball wasn’t supposed to go into the corner. But Thurl kept his cool and tossed it back out. It’s hard to believe we won on a second-shot dunk when that’s Houston’s game.”

Wolfpack career: Sharp-shooter made single-season record 58.9 percent of his 3s in the 1983 season. Twice hit 7 3s in one game. Finished with 900 points.

Now: Long-time golf analyst, lives in Los Angeles.

Alvin Battle

Against Houston: Scored 2 points in 4 minutes.

In his words: “Here they are all season, bragging about their dunks, calling themselves Phi Slama Jama, and they get one slama in the middle of the game, and we get one jama at the end. It’s real ironic, isn’t it?”

Wolfpack career: Scored 112 points.

Now: Local minister, lives in Apex.

Ernie Myers

Against Houston: Grabbed one rebound in brief appearance.

In his words: “Years later, people still remember that team. It was a bunch of good guys, good teammates, good people.”

Wolfpack career: Scored 1,249 points, 31st in school history.

Now: Regional Advertising Manager for Motor Vehicle Network, lives in Cary with wife Annabelle, N.C. State sports information director.

Sources: N.C. State, News & Observer files, Charlotte Observer files, Washington Post, New Orleans Times-Picayune.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service