Continuing with our series on ACC players from other schools we don’t hate, here’s our NC State list. Without further ado...
First, David Thompson doesn’t count. He was just too special so he’s in a category by himself. How special? He was the player Michael Jordan aspired to be. That’s pretty special.
Okay now for the formal list.
- Chris Corchiani. Wickedly smart point guard. We used to watch him blow by guys on offense then stop and let them run over him trying to catch up. Guys fell for it for all four years. Corchiani was the Fire in the Fire and Ice backcourt with Rodney Monroe. Wonderful player.
- Todd Fuller. He played at the nadir of State basketball and parlayed minimal gifts into an NBA Draft pick. Total respect. Nice guy, too.
- Anthony Grundy. We sat next to him at the McDonald’s All-Star Game and he was such a sweet, nice, down to earth guy. We really liked him immensely. It was hard to learn how much he suffered later in life and then to be stabbed to death? Such a nice guy, so much pain, such an unfair death. We were pulling for him until the end. Heartbreaking.
- Quentin Jackson. He played at NC State during the years that Peter Golenbock looked at in Personal Fouls. Jackson said Golenbock offered him money to rat out the program and he said that sounded good but he would only talk at the basketball office and that he had nothing bad to say about Jim Valvano. Even better: in the book, he was supposed to have tormented someone on the team who was rather less quick than he was. It might have been Charles Shackleford. When he was sufficiently irritated, Shack would reach for the insult he knew would shut Jackson up: “Shut up, Helmet Head.” Don’t know what it means exactly but we love the idea that that could work. Try it on someone who is irritating you. Try it today!
- Charles Shackleford. Aside from the savant insult of Jackson, Shackleford had one of the immortal lines in ACC history. You know it, you love it: “I can shoot with my left hand, I can shoot with my right hand, I’m amphibious.” Sadly, this modern day Yogi Berra died at the age of 50 in 2017.
- Bonus entry: Chris Washburn. The prodigy from Hickory broke into a fellow student’s roommate and ran off with his stereo. Only problem: the very large footprints he left behind narrowed Raleigh suspects to about two, himself and Shackleford.