Being a great basketball player requires many tools. Oddly enough, for Susan Yow, they included shovels and a barrel. Those and her all-around skills led her to become an All-America player in 1975 at Elon as a junior and in 1976 at North Carolina State as a senior.
Growing up in the Guilford County town of Gibsonville as part of a sports-crazy family – she’s the fourth Yow to enter the Hall of Fame – Susan loved basketball at an early age. “I think God gave me an aptitude for basketball,” says Yow, currently the head women’s coach at Queens University in Charlotte.
As a fifth-grader, she remembers shooting baskets underhanded. An aunt rebounded for her. So she shot. And she shot. And she shot. It didn’t matter the time of day or time of year. That’s where the shovel and barrel became necessary.
In the winter, Yow and the neighborhood boys would shovel snow to clear the blacktop at the school and church, where they played pickup games. They’d build fires in barrels so each group waiting for the next game could stay warm. “The testing ground for me was the blacktop,” she says. “I played with the boys there. I could tell they thought I was pretty good.”
Yow went from “pretty good” against the boys to easily the best player against the girls. She credits her seventh-grade coach, Eddie Flinchum, with teaching her much about the game. And of course, she learned more from sisters Kay and Debbie, both of whom “had a huge impact on my life.” Kay, Debbie and their cousin Virgil Yow, longtime men’s basketball coach at High Point University, are previous inductees. “The unity of our family was sports,” says Susan, whose older brother, Ronnie, received a football scholarship to Clemson.
After a standout career at Gibsonville High School, Yow played under sister Kay all four years in college. In her senior year at N.C. State, the 5-foot-9 Yow averaged 19.4 points and 11.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 58 percent from the field and 83 percent from the free-throw line. She still holds the school record with 27 rebounds in a single game. At Elon, she ranks fifth all-time in rebounds per game with an 8.5 average.
But what she’s most proud of are her team’s accomplishments. “I tried to be a team player,” she says. Yow’s college teams combined for a record of 71-15, including a gaudy 52-8 in three seasons at Elon. She was on three AIAW state championship teams, two at Elon and one at N.C. State. After graduating from Elon, she became head coach at East Tennessee State and was later head coach at Drake, Kansas State and other schools. She also worked as an assistant coach with three WNBA teams.
In 1988, she served as assistant coach to Kay on the U.S. Women’s Olympic team, which won the gold medal in Seoul. “Basketball,” she says, “gave me a platform, the influence to be a role model.”
A native of Gastonia, Eric “Sleepy” Floyd played all sports as a kid, and it was while playing youth baseball that the son of Robert and Myrtle Floyd received his legendary nickname: A fan supposedly yelled, “Get that kid out of the game. He’s sleeping!”
He wasn’t, of course, but it was his cool, calm demeanor on the basketball court that made his moniker apropos during an outstanding career. He first rose to stardom at Hunter Huss High. As a 6-foot-3 senior guard, he led the Huskies in 1978 to the state 4A title, beating in the championship game, coincidentally enough, a Gastonia Ashbrook team led by James Worthy.
Floyd chose to play collegiately at Georgetown University for John Thompson. He led the Hoyas in scoring all four seasons – averaging between 16 and 19 points each year – and was named All-Big East his final three years. An All-America as both a junior and senior, Floyd still holds the Georgetown career scoring record (2,304 points) and is a member of its athletics hall of fame.
The New Jersey Nets selected him with the 13th pick of the first round in the 1982 NBA draft. During the middle of a middling rookie season, he was traded by the Nets with Mickey Johnson to the Golden State Warriors for Micheal Ray Richardson. Floyd quickly took to the Bay Area and his new environment, averaging 16.5 points per game in his first full year with the franchise.
During the 1984-85 season, Floyd averaged a career-high 19.5 points per game, and two years later, he showed his all-around game by scoring 18.8 points a game and dishing out 10.3 assists while earning a spot on the All-Star team.
In May of 1987, Floyd had a second half for the ages in Game 4 of the Western Conference playoff semifinals against the Lakers. He warmed up with a 10-point third quarter, then got into the proverbial “zone” in the final period, scoring a NBA playoff-record 29 points, including making 12 consecutive shots from the floor. His 51-point night allowed the Warriors to prevent a sweep by the mighty Lakers.
His value as a player was at its height, and this was an era when trades involving big-name NBA players was at its highest frequency. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when, in December of 1987, Floyd was traded with Joe Barry Carroll by Golden State to the Houston Rockets for Ralph Sampson and Steve Harris. Floyd played the rest of that season and five others with the Rockets before signing with the San Antonio Spurs as a free agent in 1993. He spent one year with the Spurs, then returned to the Nets for one final season (1994-95) before retiring. For his 13-year career, he totaled 12,260 points and 5,175 assists.
Floyd lives in Charlotte, where he is owner and president of JobsyWobsy, a, online management website for youth. He and Gracie Ponjuan are the proud parents of two grown children, Evan and Cori.
Freddy Johnson, a Greensboro native, has spent his entire basketball coaching career at Greensboro Day School. Graduating from Grimsley High School in 1972 and Greensboro College in 1977, he furthered his education with a Master’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University in 1984. Johnson played basketball on the collegiate level for two years at Greensboro College, where he realized he wanted to coach basketball, gaining valuable experience for his life’s work coaching YMCA basketball teams.
Just out of Greensboro College, Johnson began volunteering with the Greensboro Day School basketball squad, and he was soon appointed head boys’ varsity basketball coach at the relatively young independent school. One year later, he also became the athletics director. During his 39 years at GDS, the athletic program has grown to include more than 40 teams and 85 percent middle and upper school student participation. There have also been 154 conference and 40 state championship teams during his tenure as athletics director.
As of this past season’s end, Johnson has compiled an overall record of 958-279 – he’s won more than 77 percent of his games) – and is the winningest coach in North Carolina high school basketball history. He has led the Bengals to a record 14 tournament championships at the HAECO Invitational, a premier tournament showcasing local high school teams in Guilford County. He has coached teams to eight state championships in the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA) and was a finalist eight other times.
Additionally, his teams have won 24 championships in the Piedmont Athletic Conference of Independent Schools (PACIS), and Johnson has been the PACIS Conference Coach of the Year 21 times. In 2015, he led the Bengals to the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Invitational Tournament in New York City and was named the USA Today North Carolina Coach of the Year.
Johnson’s success at GDS has led to his selection as a coach in six all-star games, including the 2013 McDonald’s All-America Game in Chicago and the 1997 Capital Classic All-Star Game in Washington, D.C.
He has been enshrined into the N.C. Gaters Hall of Fame (2006), Greensboro College Athletic Hall of Fame (2009) and Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame (2011), as well as being awarded the Charles N. Carter NCISAA Athletic Director Cup (2015) and the Greensboro College Alumni Excellence Award (2008).
A former player recently wrote, “The impact that you (Freddy Johnson) have had on my life and many other young men looms large. I wanted to let you know that your influence affected the direction of my life – in a very positive fashion. I think what I value most about our time together was that I was able to apply the principles that I learned from you in life itself, outside of athletics. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the hard work and teamwork you instilled in me would be something I would be able to use later in many life situations.”
Johnson and his wife, Mary Marr Dillard, have two children, Robert and Katherine, and one grandson.
Antawn Jamison played forward at the University of North Carolina from 1995-98, winning National Player of the Year honors in 1998 from the Associated Press, the United States Basketball Writers Association, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, The Sporting News and the Naismith and Wooden Awards.
Jamison was born in Shreveport, La., but moved to Charlotte and attended Providence High School. He was a first-team all-state selection, The Charlotte Observer named him Mr. Basketball, the Greensboro News and Record named him the North Carolina Player of the Year, and he was a McDonald’s All-America.
At Carolina, Jamison became the first player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to earn first-team All-ACC honors as a freshman, sophomore and junior. He shot 62.4 percent from the floor as a freshman, becoming the first rookie to lead the ACC in field goal accuracy.
As a junior, he became the second Tar Heel (with Lennie Rosenbluth) and third player to win ACC Player of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP, NCAA Regional MVP and National Player of the Year honors in the same season. He also was the ACC’s Male Athlete of the Year for all sports. He was later named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team.
Jamison scored 822 points in 1998, the second-highest single-season figure in Carolina history, and pulled down a school-record 389 rebounds. He averaged 22.2 points and 10.5 rebounds, averaging the first double-double by a Tar Heel since Mitch Kupchak 22 years earlier.
The 6-foot-9 forward led Carolina to ACC Tournament titles and Final Four berths in both 1997 and 1998. He starred on Dean Smith’s final team as head coach and Bill Guthridge’s first.
Jamison scored 1,974 points (19.0 per game) and grabbed 1,027 rebounds (9.9) in 104 games as a Tar Heel. He is currently eighth in career scoring and fifth in rebounds in school history. He had 51 double-doubles, second only to Naismith Hall of Famer Billy Cunningham.
Jamison played some of his best games against Duke, averaging 30.3 points and 12.0 rebounds in three home wins over the Blue Devils, and posting 22 points and 18 rebounds versus Duke in the 1998 ACC Tournament championship game.
He was the fourth pick overall in the first round of the 1998 NBA draft and played with six NBA teams (Golden State, Dallas, Washington, Cleveland, Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers). Jamison scored 20,042 points, the third-most by a Tar Heel in NBA history, trailing only Michael Jordan and Vince Carter. His 8,157 rebounds are the most ever by a Tar Heel in the NBA. He made 1,163 three-pointers.
He averaged more than 20 points five times in the NBA (with a high of 24.9 points with the Warriors in 2000-01), was a two-time NBA All-Star (2005 and 2008) and won the Sixth Man Award in 2004. He once scored 51 points in consecutive NBA games. Jamison played all 82 games five times and three times was in the top four in the league in minutes played.
Getting a fair shake. That’s what coaches, players, and fans all want from the game officials. For more than 30 years, John Clougherty delivered just that on the basketball court.
The Pittsburgh-area native was the third child of Tim and Beulah Clougherty. A baseball and football letterman for three years, he graduated in 1962 from Duquesne High School and began his college career as a member of well-respected Michigan State football family. After two years in East Lansing, Clougherty conceded MSU was “much too big and challenging athletically” and transferred to Youngstown State University.
It was there that his first experience with officiating came about, working intramurals for $3 a game. He graduated with honors from Youngstown State in 1968, then took a teaching assistantship from Kent State University. There he earned his master’s in education in 1969, the same year he accepted a teaching position at Wake Forest University.
Clougherty’s big break in officiating came in 1973 when Jack McCloskey, then Wake’s head coach, recommended him to the Atlantic Coast Conference. For two seasons, he officiated small college and freshman games, but quickly earned a promotion to the ACC varsity staff in 1975.
During the next three decades he worked in every major conference east of the Mississippi: SEC, Big East, Atlantic 10, Big 12, Sun Belt, and Conference USA. He officiated conference title games in the ACC (1982), Southwest Conference (1981), Metro Conference (1981-85), Sun Belt Conference (1986, 1989-94); fourteen times he worked the title game in the SEC.
His sterling work led to 26 NCAA Tournament opportunities and eventually the honor of officiating the Final Four. Remarkably, Clougherty was chosen to officiate 12 Final Fours between 1985-2000, including four national championship games. International assignments included the National Sports Festival (1985), National Team Trials (1986), Central American Games (1987), European Olympic Qualifying Tournament (1988 and 1992), and World Championship Games (1987 and 1991).
The 1988-89 season was the pinnacle of Clougherty’s career. His postseason assignments included the Sun Belt and SEC title games, the NIT semifinals and the championship game of the NCAA Tournament – an overtime thriller between Michigan and Seton Hall that earned him prominent references in the book “CBS Sports … Stories from the Final Four.” Off the court, he was awarded the James A. Naismith Award as the nation’s “Most Outstanding Collegiate Official” and also was honored by Youngstown State with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
Clougherty has been named to the Youngstown (Ohio) Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame (2000), the NCHSAA Wall of Champions (2002), Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (Western Chapter, 2003), North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame (2004), and received the National Invitation Tournament Officials Award (2004).
He and his wife, Dorothy, have three sons (Tim, Patrick and Conor) and six grandchildren.
Those who had the good fortune of watching Gene Littles star on the basketball court as a Washington, D.C., schoolboy had no doubts he was an ACC-caliber player.
But this was the mid-1960s and segregation was still several years away, so the silky smooth All-Metro guard from McKinley Tech High School accepted a scholarship offer to play at High Point College (now University). There he embarked on a sterling four-year career that saw him average 23.3 points per game; his career total of 2,398 points still stands as a school record.
A three-time NAIA All-America, Littles improved his overall game each year and the Panthers prospered because of it. As a senior in 1968-69, Littles led High Point to a school-best 28-3 record and the quarterfinals of the NAIA Tournament, where the Panthers lost to eventual national champion Eastern New Mexico. Fittingly, his No. 14 jersey was retired by the school.
Littles was drafted that spring by the Dallas Chaparrals of the ABA and the New York Knicks of the NBA. His ABA rights were acquired by the Carolina Cougars, and he chose to sign with Carolina, the first pro sports franchise in state history. Playing for legendary former Wake Forest coach Bones McKinney, Littles was the Cougars’ starting point guard in his first season, averaging 12.5 points per game and earning a spot on the league’s All-Rookie team. He went on to play professionally for three more seasons, finishing his career as a member of the Kentucky Colonels squad that defeated the Indiana Pacers to win the 1975 ABA championship.
That summer, Littles joined Bobby Cremins’ staff at Appalachian State as an assistant coach. Within a couple of years he was named the head coach at North Carolina A&T, where he led the Aggies to two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles and was honored, in 1978-79, as the league’s Coach of the Year.
For the next 18 seasons, Littles served as either an assistant coach or a head coach in the NBA. His three stints as a head coach came with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Hornets and Denver Nuggets, but he perhaps made his biggest mark as an assistant, teaching guards the finer points of playing well at the sport’s highest level.
Littles furthered his already strong relationship in North Carolina during his many years with the Hornets. In addition to his time as head coach, his duties included serving as an assistant coach, director of player personnel, vice president, and special assistant to the president. In 1999, Littles was hired by the Seattle Supersonics as an advance scout, and he retired from that role and the NBA in 2006.
Littles and his wife, Yvette, live in Scottsdale, Ariz.. The couple has three sons: Darren, Travis and Gino.
Charlotte Smith graduated from her hometown Shelby High School, where she earned all-state honors in basketball and was named her team’s Most Valuable Player all four years.
The niece of former N.C. State great David Thompson chose to play for Sylvia Hatchel at North Carolina, and theirs was a beautiful and prosperous relationship. The most decorated player in the history of women’s basketball at the school, Smith was a four-year letter-winner for the Tar Heels from 1992-95 and has had her No. 23 jersey retired. The 6-foot forward was named National Player of the Year by ESPN in 1995 following a career in which she scored 2,094 points (fifth best in school history) and grabbed 1,200 rebounds (second best in school history).
Smith might forever best be remembered for her performance in the 1994 NCAA Tournament championship game, when her buzzer-beating three-pointer provided the Tar Heels’ winning margin in a 60-59 victory over Louisiana Tech for the program’s first national title. She also had a championship-game record 23 rebounds that night; to the surprise of no one, she was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.
The ACC Rookie of the Year in 1992, Smith earned All-ACC and ACC Tournament MVP honors in her junior and senior seasons as the Tar Heels claimed back-to-back conference crowns. As a senior, she was named to All-America teams by Kodak, the Associated Press and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. In 2002, she was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary team as one of the top players in conference history. She also was honored as the 10th-best female athlete in the history of the league. Early in her senior season, she became just the second collegiate women’s player to dunk in a game when she did so against North Carolina A&T on Dec. 4, 1994.
Following her collegiate career, Smith played pro basketball in Italy, where she was MVP of the Italian All-Star Game during the 1995-96 season. She also played more than 10 years professionally in the United States. Included among her eight years in the WNBA was the 2002 season with the Charlotte Sting, when she helped lead the franchise to the Eastern Conference championship.
During that time, she also got into coaching, first serving nine years as an assistant to Hatchell at her alma mater. The Tar Heels captured four ACC titles during Smith’s tenure on the bench in Chapel Hill. She was named head coach of the women’s team at Elon University prior to the 2011-12 season.
Smith made numerous international appearances for U.S. teams during the 1990s. She was MVP of the 1996 USA Basketball Jones Cup squad, which won a gold medal. She also has played for the 1997 USA Basketball Women’s International Invitational team, the 1995 World University Games team (coached by Hatchell), the 1994 U.S. Select Team, the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival South team and the 1992 Junior World Championship Qualifying team. She completed her degree in sociology at North Carolina in 1999.
A native of Cornelius, Andrea Stinson arguably is the most highly recruited high school player in North Carolina’s women’s basketball history. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association selected her as the state’s female Player of the Year in 1987 following her senior season at North Mecklenburg High School. While leading the Lady Vikings to a 26-0 record and the state 4-A title, she came to be known simply as “Miss Jordan” – an ode to her on-court dominance. Her impact as a prep phenom endures to this day as her No. 32 jersey was retired by North Mecklenburg.
Kay Yow won the recruiting battle for her services, and Stinson took off in her second year wearing the red and white of the Wolfpack Women. As a sophomore, junior and senior she was a unanimous first-team All-ACC selection, and she was named the conference’s Player of the Year as a junior in 1990. That year, she led N.C. State to the league’s regular-season title, and the following year she followed suit in leading the Wolfpack Women to the tournament title. Stinson finished her N.C. State career with 2,136 points scored, third most in school history.
An easy choice as a member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary team, Stinson additionally was recognized as one of the conference’s top 50 ACC female athletes of all time. In 2014, she was deservingly inducted into the N.C. State Sports Hall of Fame.
Stinson is a veteran of 11 seasons of European professional basketball, where she played in countries such as Italy, France, Turkey, Russia, and Poland. She was honored three times as an Italian League all-star and on two occasions led her Turkish team to a league championship. She was chosen to play on the 1989 World Championship qualifying team, the 1990 and 1992 USA Select national teams, the 1991 bronze medal-winning Pan American Games team and the 1992 Olympic Trials team.
In 1997, Stinson returned to North Carolina to play for the WNBA’s expansion Charlotte Sting franchise. Over the next eight seasons she was the face of the franchise, delighting fans with her on-court skills and growing the sport with her off-court dedication to the community. She led the Sting in scoring for six consecutive seasons and started every game for eight years in a row. Her finest year as a member of the Sting was her first, when she averaged 18 points, six rebounds and nearly three assists per game.
That year, she finished runner-up in balloting for the league’s Most Valuable Player award. A three-time WNBA all-star, Stinson put a bow on her remarkable playing career as a member of the Detroit Shock, and she retired as the WNBA’s sixth all-time leading scorer.
For her efforts in the Charlotte community, Stinson received the WNBA’s Community Assist Award, the Bobby Phills Community Award, the Maya Angelou Leadership Award, and the United Negro College Fund Leadership Award.
Michael Jeffrey Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time – the standard by which the game’s best players for decades to come will be judged.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Feb. 17, 1963, as the fourth of five children to James and Deloris Jordan, the family soon moved to Wilmington. At Laney High School, as a sophomore, he decided to try out for the varsity team but was cut because he was raw and undersized. The following summer, he grew four inches and practiced tirelessly. The hard work paid off as he averaged 25 points per game in his last two seasons and was named a McDonald’s All-American as a senior.
Rodney Rogers came to Wake Forest from Durham Hillside High School in the fall of 1990 as one of the most decorated recruits in Demon Deacon basketball history. He was a Parade All-America third-team selection after averaging 28.9 points and 13 rebounds per game as a high school senior, where his games were considered a “must-see” by long-time residents and sports enthusiasts in the Bull City.
The accolades were endless for the powerfully-built forward with a surprisingly silky smooth left-handed jump shot. Rogers was a first-team all-state pick and named the state high school Player of the Year by the Associated Press following his senior season. He was named Mr. Basketball by the Charlotte Observer and was selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year in North Carolina. In the McDonald’s All-America game, he scored 17 points in helping the East beat the West, 115-104.
Rogers made an impact on the Demon Deacons right from the outset of his freshman season. He averaged 16.3 points and 7.9 rebounds in earning ACC Rookie of the Year honors in 1991. He was also named the national Freshman of the Year. As a sophomore, Rogers averaged 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He was a first team All-ACC pick in 1992, the only sophomore so honored.
The following year, as a junior, he was a unanimous first team All-ACC pick, the ACC Player of the Year and an All-America selection after leading the ACC in scoring at 21.2 points per game. He also became the only player in Wake Forest history to earn both ACC Rookie of the Year (1991) and Player of the Year (1993) honors.
For his career, Rogers averaged 19.3 points and 7.9 rebounds, and he scored in double figures in 86 of 89 games including the final 66 contests of his career. He was part of three NCAA Tournament teams, leading the Demon Deacons to the second round in 1991 and to the Sweet 16 in 1993. Further, he was honored with consecutive Arnold Palmer Awards in 1992 and 1993.
With the support of coach Dave Odom, Rogers chose to turn pro after his junior season and was a first-round draft pick (ninth overall player selected) of the Denver Nuggets. He spent two seasons in Denver before he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers following the conclusion of the 1995 season. He spent four years with the Clippers before signing with the Phoenix Suns in 1999. A year later, he was honored as the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.
In 2002, Rogers was traded to the Boston Celtics. He signed with the New Jersey Nets in August of 2002 and helped the club advance to the NBA Finals. His final year in the NBA came during the 2004-05 season, which he split between the New Orleans Hornets and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Rogers had his No. 54 jersey retired by Wake Forest in 1996. In 2004, he was inducted into the Wake Forest University Sports Hall of Fame.
Raleigh native Randy Denton arguably is one of the best basketball players ever to come out of the state of North Carolina. He stood apart in numerous sports as a youth, including basketball, football, baseball and track. And in addition to starring in basketball at Enloe High School, he also played football and ran track.
But it was on the basketball court where the 6-foot-10 center stood tallest – both literally and figuratively. A high school All-America selection who has had his jersey retired, he was a star in the classroom as well, being recognized as a three-year member of the National Honor Society.
More than 200 schools recruited Denton during his junior and senior years. But with all of the excitement also came abundant sadness, as his father died in 1966 and thus wasn’t able to watch his son rise to prominence. Denton chose to attend Duke to play for Vic Bubas – in part because of his father’s respect for the Hall of Fame coach and the university.
Denton went on to become an All-ACC performer in each of this three varsity seasons. Armed with a soft touch and a nose for the ball, he led the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounding all three years and as a senior in 1970-71 was named All-America. He started every game of his Blue Devil career, averaging 19.7 points – fifth all-time – and 12.7 rebounds per game, which still ranks as No. 1 in Duke’s storied basketball history.
Back before it became a recognized achievement and part of basketball vernacular, Denton recorded an incredible 58 “double-doubles” – games in which he amassed double figures in both points and rebounds. And six times in his career he reached the rarest of air with games in which he totaled at least 20 points and 20 rebounds.
Drafted in the fourth round by the NBA’s Boston Celtics in the summer of 1971, Denton instead chose to sign with the ABA’s Carolina Cougars, which split most of its home games among Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh. He went on to play professionally for six years combined in the ABA and NBA, averaging 11.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He spent two more years playing in the Italian League.
Denton, who graduated from Duke with a degree in psychology in 1971, was inducted into the Duke University Sports Hall of Fame in 1991. Ten years later, he was inducted into the prestigious Duke Hall of Honor.
An outstanding athlete in every sport he touched while growing up in Pittsburgh, Eddie Biedenbach starred in basketball, baseball and football at Edgewood High School. He was signed to a basketball scholarship at North Carolina State University, where he initially played on the freshman team coached by former Wolfpack All-America Lou Pucillo. He played for three Hall of Fame coaches (Everett Case, Press Maravich and Norm Sloan) in his three varsity seasons and also played baseball for legendary Wolfpack coach Vic Sorrell.
Biedenbach quickly became a fan favorite at Reynolds Coliseum, known as a speedy defensive guard who had uncanny hand and foot quickness, great ballhandling skills and an innate knack for the game. Sportswriters bestowed upon him two nicknames – the “Pittsburgh Pickpocket” and the “Pittsburgh Pirate” – due to his propensity to steal the basketball.
His N.C. State varsity career included two years as the team’s leading scorer. He also was a two-time All-ACC selection and a two-time All-ACC Tournament selection. As a senior, he was named a preseason co-captain; at season’s end he was honored as of the Wolfpack’s MVP. And in 2003, when N.C. State voted on its all-time men’s basketball teams, Biedenbach was voted Player of the Decade for the 1960s.
Drafted by four different pro sports teams, Biedenbach was first selected by the St. Louis Hawks (drafted after his redshirt senior year, which he missed due to major back surgery). Three teams drafted Eddie following his basketball senior year – the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, the ABA’s New York Nets, and the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. He played briefly with the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns before returning to N.C. State to begin what became a long and rewarding coaching career.
As an assistant coach he was instrumental in recruiting the players that brought N.C. State national championships in 1974 and 1983, and he also served as an assistant to Hugh Durham when they led the Bulldogs to the 1983 Final Four.
As a head coach, Biedenbach took Davidson of the Southern Conference from last place to first in just three years. Later, in winning a school-record 256 games – most in Big South Conference history – in 17 seasons at UNC Asheville, he led the Bulldogs to a combined nine regular season and tournament championships. Four times he was named Big South Coach of the Year.
Biedenbach’s contributions to college basketball and campus life extend off the court as well. In 20 years as a head coach, his teams posted an impressive 95 percent graduation rate. And his endless energy and engaging personality have led to more than $5 million being raised for student scholarships and facility upgrades.
His years and many successes in myriad sports were recognized by his Pittsburgh roots in 1998 when he was inducted into Pennsylvania’s East Boros Sports Hall of Fame. He also was inducted into the Western North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
Rosenbluth averaged 27.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game during the regular season and the Helms Hall of Fame named him Collegiate Player of the Year over Chamberlain [more…]
A native of Wallace who excelled as a multi-sport star at Wallace-Rose Hill High School, M.L. Carr was one of the greatest basketball players in Guilford College history [more…]
After a sterling high school career in Benson, Beasley played women’s basketball at NC State from 1977-1980. She scored 2,367 points, and remains first in NC State history and 3rd in ACC history. Her career 1,245 rebounds is first in NC State history, and 3rd in ACC history. Beasley is second in ACC history with 1,017 field goals. She made the All-ACC Tournament teams in 1978, ’79, and ’80 and was MVP of the1980 ACC Tournament, won by NC State. Beasley earned Kodak All-America honors also. [more…]
Brennan was a member of UNC’s 1957 NCAA basketball championship team and its leading rebounder. He led the ACC in scoring (21.3) and rebounding (11.7) his senior year (1958). Brennan’s honors include Final Four 1st team (1957), ACC Player of the Year, Dixie Classic MVP, All-America 1st team. He ranks third in career rebounds per game (10.5) at UNC. [more…]
One of the truly magical dribblers and shooters in basketball history, Fred “Curly” Neal embraced the imagination of fans all over the world, playing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries as a key member of the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters. Number 22 played for 22 seasons in the red, white and blue, from 1963 to 1985.“Curly’s” became just the fifth Globetrotter to have his jersey number retired by the team on Feb. 15, 2008. “Curly” is also one of only 27 people honored in the Harlem Globetrotters’ prestigious “Legends” ring, presented to those who have made a major contribution to the success and the development of the Globetrotters organization. After an outstanding career at James B. Dudley High School in Greensboro, N.C., “Curly” moved on to Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., where he averaged over 23 points per game and led his team to the CIAA title his senior year. [more…]
After earning All-America honors at Wingate Junior College in 1954, Floyd became a basketball legend at Furman. He led the NCAA in scoring his junior and senior seasons and was named a first-team All-America both years. Known for his long-range shooting, he averaged 32.1 points per game and is one of 4 Furman basketball players to have his jersey retired. Floyd scored a career high 67 points in 1955 and finished with over 40 points in 15 games with Furman. The Thomasville native died in 2000. [more…]
Rocky Mount native led his high school basketball team to state title. ACC Rookie of the Year at Maryland (1979). Scored 16,000 points and had 13,000 career rebounds in 17-year NBA career [more…]
Clinton native who starred on the basketball court at Davidson in the early 1960s, then had outstanding career as coach (1974-90) and AD (1990-95) at Virginia [more…]
Basketball standout at Durham High, N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill and professionally with Washington Caps and Boston Celtics. Guided Wake Forest to two ACC titles in 8 years. Reached Final Four in 1962. Twice ACC coach-of-year. [more…]
Gastonia native and MVP in the 1982 NCAA Final Four with national champion UNC-Chapel Hill. A first round NBA draft pick who spent 12 seasons with LA Lakers, scoring 16,320 points in 926 games, and earning all-star honors seven times. [more…]
Greensboro native who gained All-America basketball honors at Minnesota. Played in the NBA with Hawks and Lakers. All-Pro and played in several All-Star games. Averaged 20 points per game for 13 seasons in the NBA. [more…]
All-America guard at NC State and member of three Atlantic Coast Conference championship teams. Made 27 straight free throws, including 16 against Wake Forest. Averaged 18 points per game in his Wolfpack career from 1954-56. [more…]
Outstanding basketball career at UNC-Chapel Hill. Earned All-ACC honors in 1974. No. 1 pro draft choice. Stalwart defensive player with Denver of the ABL and Philadelphia 76ers of NBA for 13 years. Made NBA all-defensive team 8 times. [more…]
Basketball All-America at Duke and member of Gold Medal winning Olympic team in 1964. Scored over 13,000 points while with three NBA teams. Selected to three NBA All-Star teams. Had successful tenure as coach at UNC-Charlotte. [more…]
Finished outstanding basketball career at North Carolina College in 1957 before moving to the NBA where for 12 years he was a clutch shooter for the Boston Celtics. Played in five All-Star Games. Inducted into National Basketball HOF in 1984. [more…]
All-ACC basketball guard at Wake Forest in 1960s, winning two ACC titles and reaching NCAA Final Four once. Later achieved acclaim as a basketball television broadcaster, first in the ACC and later as analyst for NBC and CBS. [more…]
Member of the Hanes Hosiery 3-time national champion basketball team and 5-time All-America 1950-54). Captain of 1951 All-America team. Teague Award winner and member of the NC Softball HOF and AAU HOF. [more…]
All-America and All-ACC point guard for N.C. State in late 1950s. One of smallest basketball players ever to make All-America. Led Wolfpack to ACC championship in 1959 and was named ACC Player of the Year [more…]
Outstanding basketball player at Wilmington’s Williston High School. Went on to become a star attraction for the Harlem Globetrotters and played throughout the world. [more…]
All-America basketball star at N.C. State, leading Wolfpack to four Southern Conference championships, one NCAA Final Four and two Dixie Classic titles. Was Wolfpack’s second highest scorer of all time in 1981. [more…]
Basketball legend at Western Carolina from 1965-1968. Scored 50+ points six times and had 60 against Atlantic Christian. Led the nation in scoring in 1968 with 36.2 average. Was first black player at a predominantly white college in the Southeast. [more…]
All-America and All-ACC basketball forward at UNC-Chapel Hill. ACC Player of the Year, first-round pick by Syracuse in 1960 NBA draft and averaged 17 points for three seasons. In 1985 selected by national coaches on Sports Illustrated’s Silver Anniversary All-America team. [more…]
Star in basketball and tennis at Durham Hillside High before going to Maryland where he was All-ACC three years in a row in basketball and twice winner of ACC singles tennis title. Played with six different NBA teams. Coached Spurs and 76ers. [more…]
Two-time All-America, All-ACC center led N.C. State to three straight ACC championships. Scored 1,761 points in three seasons. ACC’s No. 2 career rebounder with 1,598. Scored 55 points against William & Mary in 1955. [more…]
Duke coach Vic Bubas called him “the most complete basketball player I ever coached.” On Duke’s NCAA Final Four teams (1964 and 1966). Averaged 14.8 points in 11 NBA seasons, six with Baltimore. On 1966 NBA All-Rookie team and two NBA All-Star teams. [more…]
All-America basketball player at Appalachian, led team to two conference titles. NAIA’s MVP in early 1940s. Spent five seasons in NBA with St. Louis, Syracuse and Baltimore. Third best NBA free-throw shooter in 1951 (.850) [more…]
Kinston native played on two Boston Celtics NBA championship teams in an 11-year career and NBA Playoffs MVP (1981). First round NBA pick with career 12.5 point and 54.6 FG career averages. Led UNC Charlotte to NIT finals (1976) and NCAA Final Four (1967). [more…]
Shelby native called by many the best basketball player in ACC history. Led N.C. State to NCAA title in 1974, and 79-7 record over three seasons. Twice named national college Player of the Year. Played on All-Star teams six times in ABA and NBA. Member of national basketball Hall of Fame. [more…]
Basketball star at Smith High in Greensboro who later played one year at UNC-Chapel Hill. Led Tar Heels to 1972 Final Four. NBA player-of-year in 1975 and league’s leading scorer three times. Played 14 years in pros with seven different teams. [more…]
New Bern native and twice an All-America basketball star at University of Indiana. Member of the 1960 gold medal winning U.S. Olympic team. Had a 13-year pro career, including selection to four NBA All-Star teams. Scored 20.941 points in the NBA. [more…]
Newland native was All-America center on N.C. State’s NCAA championship basketball team. Averaged 19 points and 12.7 rebounds in 84 games. Twice named MVP in ACC Tournament. Member of 1972 U.S. Olympic team and a seven-year pro. [more…]
The second All-America basketball player in history at UNC-Chapel Hill, earning the honors three consecutive years, 1924-25-26, when the White Phantoms put together a three-year record of 61-10. National Player-of-Year in 1926 [more…]
Black Mountain native earned All-America honors as a UNC-Chapel Hill basketball player and led the ACC in scoring and rebounding in 1986. Number one draft pick in 1986 by Cleveland. Cavs all-time leading scorer and top five in nine other categories. [more…]
A Pineville native who posted a 15.7 scoring average at UNC-Chapel Hill. Earned All-ACC and All-America honors. Member of 1976 Gold Medal Olympic team. NBA Rookie-of-Year in 1978 and six-time All-Star in 11 years with Phoenix. Scored 19,521 NBA points. [more…]
Star athlete at Rocky Mount and All-America at UNC-Chapel Hill. Had 18.6 scoring average in 123 games for Tar Heels. ACC Player-of-Year 1978. First-round draft choice in 1978. NBA Rookie-of-Year 1979. Assistant coach of Tar Heels. [more…]
Member of Hanes Hosiery basketball team which won three consecutive national championships and 102 straight games in the mid 1950s. Basketball All-America teams from 1952-54. Teague Award winner and member NC Softball and AAU HOF. [more…]
A two-time basketball All-America at Duke and the 1979 ACC Player of the Year. Still the Blue Devils career rebound leader. Played 7 seasons with the New Jersey Nets and ended his NBA career with Charlotte. [more…]
First Wake Forest All-America basketball player and twice Player-of-Year in ACC. Played two years in Southern Conference and two in ACC. Career records of 2,587 points and 1,802 rebounds are still standing. Played two years in NBA with Boston Celtics [more…]