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Lorenzo Charles dies in accident


Lorenzo Charles dies in accident

Derrick Johnson June 28, 2011

Lorenzo Charles will forever be remembered for scoring the winning shot in the 1983 NCAA championship game for North Carolina State. Charles died in a bus accident where he was the driver and there were no other passengers onboard. Almost thirty years later, people still remember that shot and are talking about it as a memorable moment.

Charles took the ball shot by teammate Derek Whittenberg and dunked it into the basket as the buzzer beat. The shot would have been short and NC State would have lost to Houston. But Charles took the ball – without thinking, he said later – and simply put it in. The crowd went wild. People couldn't believe it. They had won on the dunk.

Charles, who was 47 this year, was driving an Elite Coach bus on Interstate 40 and died in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was a legend in basketball.

What happened between the years 1983 and 2011? Charles went on to have a short career in the NBA, playing for the Atlanta Hawks for one year and then moving to Italy. Charles had been working as a bus driver for ten years at the time of his death, according to CNN.

Dominique Wilkins, who used to play with Charles and is now a vice president for the North Carolina Hawks' basketball team, spoke to the news source about the legacy of Lorenzo.

"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," Wilkins told the news source. "He was a great guy who was loved by his teammates, and taken away from us far too soon."