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You Tube Gold: Tommy Burleson

A big man with a big heart, the former State star was truly an ACC legend

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North Carolina v North Carolina State
RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 14: Mr. and Miss Wuf, the North Carolina State Wolfpack mascots, perforn during their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at PNC Arena on January 14, 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina won 81-79.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

When it comes to the 1974 NC State team, David Thompson is the immortal. He was a prototype for the modern player - Michael Jordan, Russell Westbrook, you name it.

But that team wouldn’t have done what it did without Tommy Burleson.

He was 7-2, incredibly mobile, and fierce. He came from the mountains, helped lead State to a 57-1 record over two years, played in the NBA, then went back to the mountains where he’s stayed.

He’s probably the only guy who grows and sells Christmas trees who is consistently taller than the trees he sells.

By the way, it doesn’t get mentioned a lot, but Burleson had an up close and terrifying view of the 1972 terrorist attacks at the Munich Olympics. That had have incredibly difficult as you’ll see in that link as Burleson just breaks down and weeps, all these years later.

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