“RALEIGH – Lorenzo Emile Charles, who is best known for taking a last-second desperation shot from teammate Dereck Whittenburg and slam-dunking the N.C. State Wolfpack basketball team to a 1983 NCAA championship title, died Monday afternoon in a bus crash on Interstate 40 in West Raleigh.” http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/06/28/2412651/report-lorenzo-charles-killed.html
I grew up a North Carolina State fan. My Father attended graduate school at State. We would go to football games and basketball games to cheer on the Wolfpack.
Yesterday I drove back to the Chicago area from Raleigh. I traveled West on 40 between Raleigh and Durham. I learned that NC State legend Lorenzo Charles died yesterday, in a bus accident, on that stretch of road.
I remember Charles’ dunk to win the game. I remember jumping up and down with my brother as the Wolfpack won another national championship in 1983. I was reminded of all the times I met Jim Valvano and his passion.
I used to joke that I know I made it when I could dress like an NBA basketball coach. I know I have a chance of making it when I can end the day with a sweat filled coat like the ones Jim Valvano wore at the end of his games.
Yesterday, I was reminded that life can be short and unfair. I am reminded to live my life with passion. Rest in peace, Mr. Charles.