The Wolfpacker

Nov.-Dec. 2020

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 45 of 51

46 ■ THE WOLFPACKER Who Is This Guy? Plenty of standing ovations came Jim Valvano's way during his coaching career, but none occurred on his first visit to the NC State University locker room. This was his reception: a dozen college ball players sitting at their stalls, arms crossed, eyes wary and skeptical. That was our attitude in the spring of 1980. Who is this guy? We don't really want to hear this man because we just lost our coach (Norm Sloan). So whoever they bring in, whoever walks into that room, no, we don't trust him. He didn't recruit us. Coach V didn't say anything to us right away. He just kind of looked at us — for quite a while. Somewhere on the Seren- geti Plains, wildebeests began preparing for their annual migration. Elizabeth Taylor married and divorced and married. Suns flared into existence and winked out. Life on Earth was happening, but time stood still in the locker room at Reynolds Coliseum. Then it took off at blinding speed. "Hey, guys," Jimmy said. "I'm the new basketball coach." Fortunately, nobody requested a second opinion. He said we could call him V or Coach or Jimmy or whatever. "Listen," he said in the stillness. "I want you guys to look at me for a minute." All right. We could do that. Nothing to lose but show interest. "I know how you feel," he said. That seemed a broad assumption. He was an Italian-American dude from Queens, rolling into Raleigh from his previous job at Iona College. We players had come to State because Norm Sloan had a distinguished coaching career and had convincingly re- cruited us. Now he was leaving to take the job at the University of Florida. So, who was this new guy? Coach Or Con-Artist? "I know you don't want to be here," Coach V said to us in our first team meet- ing. "Your coach left you — your leader left you — and most of you don't want to be at the school anymore. But I want you to listen to me for the next little bit. When I'm done speaking, if you still want to leave, I'll sign your release form." This new coach was about to lose maybe 80 percent of his team — or at least half — and he was agreeing to sign a release for Team Of Destiny Thurl Bailey's New Book Provides A Front-Row Seat To The Legendary 1983 NCAA Title Run — And Lessons Still Relevant Today Team of Destiny Team of Destiny Big T Productions P.O. Box 1662 American Fork, UT 84003 T hurl Bailey was a terrific player and with the help of his 1983 NC State teammates, he's written a moving book about resiliency and belief. While its backdrop is basketball, this is really a book about becoming champions in life. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University and United States Senior National Team Coach (2005-16) I sat in the stands that fateful night in Albuquerque, April 4, 1983, cheering lustily for my alma mater, the University of Houston. That night our Cougar hearts were broken by a bunch of destiny-bound believers from North Carolina State. Little did I know that one star player for the Wolfpack would soon become one of my favorite athletes, and friends—Thurl Bailey. Thurl has always been a glue guy, a team builder, a leader. His life is one worth emulating and examining. He is an immensely talented sportsman, musician, business man, husband, father, and friend. No one is more qualified to lead us through the full story of the Cinderella Wolfpack than Thurl. Read this book—you'll learn some life lessons along the way, and enjoy every step of the journey, just as Thurl Bailey has every day on this planet. Jim Nantz, Sportscaster, CBS Sports $20.00 USA | $26.50 Canada T hurl Bailey is a former Professional Basketball Player who spent 12 years in the N.B.A. with the Utah Jazz (9), and Minnesota Timberwolves (3), Euro League with Panionios in Greece and 3 years in Italy with Polti Cantù (2) and Olympia Milano (1). He won the N.B.A.'s prestigious J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for outstanding community service for the 1988-'89 season. Currently, Thurl leads a busy life as an international corporate and youth speaker. He is the host of the popular Thurl Talk podcast, an actor, singer/songwriter and works as a TV broadcast analyst for the Utah Jazz and AT&T SportsNet. N o matter what line of work you find yourselves in, no matter what your role may be at home or in your profession, Team of Destiny will speak to you, and you will be encouraged, inspired, and emboldened to be the best you can be. Thurl Bailey takes the lessons learned more than 35 years ago and makes them as relevant now as they were then. Jimmy V would be proud, Thurl. And that's as high a compliment as I could possibly pay on a book this impactful. Well done." Ernie Johnson, Jr., Studio Host—Inside the NBA on TNT ISBN 978-0-578-79037-4 "Read it, learn from it, and then apply the principles to your life!" Stephen M. R. Covey, The New York Times bestselling author of The Speed of Trust How the NC State Wolfpack Won the 1983 NCAA Title …and How You and Your Team Can Choose to Be Champions Thurl Bailey with Ken Shelton Thurl Bailey with Ken Shelton 9 780578 790374 n Thurl Bailey's new book examining the Wolfpack's im- probable 1983 NCAA championship, Team Of Destiny: How the NC State Wolfpack Won the 1983 NCAA Title … and How You and Your Team Can Choose to Be Cham- pions, the former Wolfpack power forward summed up the goal of the text simply: "To help you win in your field and achieve your goals and dreams." "He's written a moving book about resiliency and belief. While its backdrop is basketball, this is really a book about becoming champions in life," Duke head coach Mike Krzyze- wski said. Bailey tells the backstories of his coaches and teammates, and then applies lessons learned during the unforgettable run to how they can still help everybody in any walk of life today. "There are several media accounts of that time in basketball history. But to my knowledge, there is not a book written by the collective team," he wrote in the introduction. "… These sto- ries and backstories are so important, especially today as we struggle to form championship teams of diversity and destiny. "That is why that particular time in our lives is still relevant and vital to today's dreamers." Of course, the ultimate dreamer — and star of any remembrance of this legendary team — was head coach Jim Valvano. In the fol- lowing excerpt, Bailey recalls some of the team's first impressions of the coach hired away from Iona College. The book will be out in December and can be preordered at I

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