Lorenzo Charles, who will always be a hero at North Carolina State for slamming home the winning dunk over the Houston Cougars to win the 1983 NCAA Title was killed in a bus-wreck on Monday according to a report from “CNN.com“. Charles had been a driver for the past ten years for Elite Coach and was killed when the bus he was driving got into an accident on Interstate highway 40; there were no passengers on board at the time of the crash.
The Atlanta Hawks drafted Charles in the second round of the 1985 NBA Draft and he would play three years for the team before going on to play in Italy and for the USBL franchise the Raleigh Cougars. Dominique Wilkins issued a statement expressing the sorrow that the Hawks felt at the passing of the 47-year-old former players. Wilkins wrote “Lorenzo left an indelible impact in sports lore that will never be forgotten, and while he will be forever remembered for his accomplishments at North Carolina State, the Atlanta Hawks family would like to extend heartfelt condolences to the Charles family after the news of his tragic death. He was a great guy who was loved by his teammates, and taken away from us far too soon.”
North Carolina State were thought to have little chance to upset Houston in the NCAA Championship game in 1983. The Cougars who were referred to at the time as “Phi Slama Jama” had future NBA stars Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler on the roster and they were expected to win the contest in a route. However their play did not live up to expectations as the pesky NC State team stayed with them throughout the game leading to the game winning dunk by Charles.