Cary is almost nothing like what it was a long time ago.
It had just 1,446 people in 1950.
And seemingly all of them traveled to the 1954 N.C. High School Athletic Association Class A boys basketball title game, which Cary won 63-54 over King High that day in Aberdeen – though many were turned away.
But for one night, the old will be be on display for the new.
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Members of the 1953-54 team will be honored at halftime of Friday’s home game against Green Hope as part of the 60th anniversary of the title.
In the 10 years that have passed since the 50-year anniversary, former center Guy Mendenhall said three members of the team have passed away. Coach Simon Terrell died in 2005.
Then known as the White Imps, Cary capped a 30-1 season, redeeming the previous year’s 25-1 year that ended in triple overtime of the first round of the playoffs.
The 1953-54 team beat Campbell University’s junior varsity team in the preseason and was no stranger to score 80 points in a game in the days when there was no 3-point line.
It was a special group.
What perhaps sets this team apart from any other past champions is where everyone wound up.
Cary had two future NCHSAA executive directors – Terrell was succeeded by his former senior guard, Charlie Adams. Mendenhall is a N.C. Athletic Directors Hall of Fame member, spending years at Cary and Enloe.
He’s a regular at home Cary contests, helping old meet new every week.