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Fred Lind Honored For 45 Years Of Service

Former Duke basketball player has lived a deeply admirable life

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North Carolina v Duke
Fred Lind helped build the legacy of Cameron Indoor Stadium then went on to more noble things.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Heroes come in lots of different types. We tend to see them in athletes and people with highly visible accomplishments.

But there are many kinds of heroes. Imagine for a minute that you’ve been arrested for a crime you may or may not have committed and you can’t afford a lawyer.

Imagine that a guy comes to jail who sincerely believes that you’re entitled to a rigorous defense and who gives that everything he possibly can.

Imagine too that he’s been doing this for close to half a century when he could have easily made a fortune in private practice.

There’s no glory in being a career public defender, at least not as most of us would definitely it. But there is infinite honor.

That’s what Fred Lind’s been doing for his entire career. He’s most famous for his stunning triple overtime performance against UNC in 1968 but he’s said that now he finds that somewhat annoying, that he’s done other things in life that are far more important.

We’d guess that among his many clients Fred has helped some young kids who were innocent stay out of prison.

If you are one of those guys, our bet is you might be curious about the basketball but eternally grateful that this stranger cared enough to help save you from hell.

So we’re glad that this hero was honored in April with the Richard Caswell Award, which was given to state employees with 45 years of service.

You can meet a lot of people throughout life but you won’t meet too many like Fred. He’s the real deal. If you told him him he was a hero he’d reject that instantly - that’s just his nature - but you could literally line people up around the block who would tell you that he is their hero, that he put himself on the line for them whether they deserved it or not.

You’d be hard pressed to find a better man than Fred Lind.

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