Thursday, January 7, 2010

Honored players to return to N.C. State

Fans won’t just see Javi Gonzalez, Dennis Horner and the rest of the Wolfpack players at home games the rest of the season. Beginning Saturday, at least one of the 27 N.C. State players, coaches and support personnel whose jerseys, whistles or microphones have been honored or retired will be honored during the remaining ACC home games.

It’s all part of the Pack’s celebration of 100 years of men’s college basketball, and it begins Saturday when former All-America Thurl Bailey, now an announcer for the Utah Jazz TV broadcasts, returns. N.C. State plays Virginia in its ACC opener.

“These are the guys who are the foundation of our program,” Wolfpack coach
Sidney Lowe said in a prepared statement. “As Coach (Monte) Towe says, these are the guys who dug the well. It is up to us now to keep that tradition and that pride in our basketball heritage going.”

Not every honored player will be able to return, including NBA head coaches Nate
McMillan and Vinny Del Negro; former ACC Player of the Year Julius Hodge, who is playing professionally in Australia, won’t be able to come back either. But they won’t go unrecognized, according to the school.

It hasn’t been finalized, which players will return on which dates. But here’s a list of the N.C. State basketball honorees:

Retired jersey: David Thompson (No. 44).

Honored players: Nate McMillan (10), Chris Corchiani (13), Vinny Del Negro (14), Vann Williford (14), Lou Pucillo (20), Rodney Monroe (21), Tommy Burleson (24), Julius Hodge (24), Tom Gugliotta (24), John Richter (24), Monte Towe (25), Dereck Whittenburg (25), Kenny Carr (32), Sidney Lowe (35), Thurl Bailey (41), Lorenzo Charles (43), Todd Fuller (52), Dick Dickey (70), Vic Molodet (73), Sammy Ranzino (77), Bob Speight (80), Ronnie Shavlik (84).

Honored coaches: Everett Case, Norm Sloan, Jim Valvano.

Other honorees: C.A. Dillon, public address announcer 1945-99.

-- Robbi Pickeral