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Lorenzo Charles

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Subject: Jim Valvano, 1982–83 NC State Wolfpack men's basketball team, Dereck Whittenburg, 1983 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, 1985 NBA Draft
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Lorenzo Charles

Lorenzo Charles
Small forward
Personal information
Born (1963-11-25)November 25, 1963
Brooklyn, New York
Died June 27, 2011(2011-06-27) (aged 47)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school Brooklyn Tech (Brooklyn, New York)
College NC State (1981–1985)
NBA draft 1985 / Round: 2 / Pick: 41st overall
Selected by the Atlanta Hawks
Pro career 1985–2001
Career history
1985–1986 Atlanta Hawks
1986–1987 Arexons Cantù
1987–1988 Irge Desio
1988–1989 Quad City Thunder
1989 Rapid City Thrillers
1990–1991 Arapt Uppsala
1991 CB Llíria
1992–1993 Tofaş S.K.
1993–1994 Oklahoma City Cavalry
1994–1995 Cordon Atlético
1995–1996 Solna Vikings
1996 Atlanta Trojans
1997 Raleigh Cougars
1997–1998 Atenas Atletico
1998 Raleigh Cougars
1998–1999 Atenas Atletico
1999 Peñarol Mar del Plata
1999–2000 Nacional Montevideo
2000–2001 Fargo-Moorhead Beez
Career highlights and awards

Lorenzo Emile "Lo" Charles[1] (November 25, 1963 – June 27, 2011)[2] was an American college and professional basketball player. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Charles played basketball for North Carolina State University and scored the game-winning points in the 1983 NCAA Basketball Tournament. He played briefly in the National Basketball Association and for several professional teams in Europe. Charles died in a 2011 bus accident.


  • Biography 1
  • Video 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Lorenzo Charles was born in Brooklyn, New York to Panamanian immigrants. He was a 1981 graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School and played college basketball at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.[2][3] During his sophomore season with the Wolfpack, Charles scored the game-winning alley-oop dunk off a long air ball, lofted hurriedly by Dereck Whittenburg in the final seconds of the championship game of the 1983 NCAA Tournament. The basket broke a 52–52 tie at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as NC State scored the last eight points to defeat the top-ranked and heavily favored Houston Cougars, led by Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde "The Glide" Drexler and the rest of Phi Slama Jama.

Charles blossomed into a star in his next two seasons for the Wolfpack. After packing on another 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of muscle, he averaged 18 points and more than eight rebounds a game in 1983-84, becoming a third-team All-American. As a senior, Charles averaged 18 points a game and grabbed more than six rebounds as NC State finished the regular season tied for first-place with a 9-5 conference record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Wolfpack advanced to the Elite Eight in the 1985 NCAA Tournament, but fell 69–60 in the West region finals to St. John's University, led by player of the year Chris Mullin. Charles' number 43 was retired by the NC State program in 2008, 25 years after his most-famous dunk.[4]

Charles was the 41st selection in the 1985 NBA Draft at age 21 and went on to have a modest professional career, playing briefly in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks. He later played with several European teams, particularly in Italy for Arexons Cantù and Irge Desio.[5]

Charles died at age 47 in a bus crash on Interstate 40 in Raleigh on June 27, 2011. He was at the controls of an Elite Coach rental bus, without passengers.[4][6][7] Charles is interred at Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, twenty spaces from Jim Valvano (1946–1993), his head coach at NC State.[3]


  • March Madness Buzzer Beater – 1983 NC State vs Houston – from CBS Sports telecast on YouTube


  1. ^ Tudor, Caulton (2011-06-28). Lo' will be missed"'".  
  2. ^ a b Martin, Douglas (2011-06-29). "Lorenzo Charles, 47; Dunk Won 1983 Title".  
  3. ^ a b Armstrong, Kevin (July 2, 2011). "Lorenzo Charles, former Wolfpack NCAA hero mourned by entire state of North Carolina, including Duke". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b 83 legend Lorenzo Charles dies in crash"'". ESPN. ESPN news services. June 28, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Legabasket" (in Italian). Legabasket. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ news services (June 27, 2011). "Former North Carolina State Wolfpack star Lorenzo Charles killed in bus accident".  
  7. ^ "Former Wolfpack basketball standout killed in Raleigh bus wreck".  

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from
  • Lorenzo Charles' Lost Lettermen Interviews
  • Lorenzo Charles at Find a Grave
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