The Wolfpacker

March-April 2022

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 39 of 51

40 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER C State redshirt sophomore guard Dereon Seabron is a true success story. Life was not easy for Seabron's family when he was growing up in Norfolk, Va. His mother, Natasha Franklin, was a teen when she gave birth to Seabron. At 11 months old, Seabron's father, Darrell Dillard, was sentenced to 51 years in prison. Where Seabron and his two younger siblings lived was a "rough neighbor- hood" with a "whole lot of gang violence, crime, stuff like that," he remembered. Basketball, though, proved to be a ticket out for Seabron. Starring for Lake Taylor High head coach Kenny Brown, Seabron emerged as a star. He averaged 22.5 points and 11 rebounds per game as a senior and led Lake Taylor to its first state champi- onship in school history by pouring in 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds during a double-overtime win in the title contest. Seabron had college options at that point, but he was aiming larger. "I remember people writing articles and stuff on me saying I would be a low-major [recruit]," Seabron recalled. "I like to prove people wrong." A prep year at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Va., provided the final spotlight Seabron needed to emerge as an ACC-caliber recruit- ing target. He narrowed his choices to Georgia, NC State, Pittsburgh, Providence and VCU before committing to the Wolfpack. "We saw a guard who's long, athletic," NC State head coach Kevin Keatts recalled. "He's 6-6 and has perimeter skills. You could play him at mul- tiple positions. We saw a slashing guy that could get out in the passing lane and get out in transition." Three years later, Seabron has devel- oped into a potential All-ACC honoree while emerging as one of the league's most versatile and athletic guards. With two games left in the regular season, Seabron was averaging 17.7 points and 8.3 rebounds a contest, and he also led NC State with 90 assists and 42 steals in 29 appearances. Only four other players in Division I men's bas- ketball can claim to lead their team in all those statistical categories. He was shooting 51.2 percent from the field, had 11 double-doubles and reached 20 points in 11 games. He set career highs with 39 points and 19 rebounds in a four-overtime home win over Nebraska in December. That remains the highest scoring output of any ACC player in a game this year. He also had a 32-point showing in a home loss to Florida State. Only once has Seabron been held to single-digit scoring. He ranked fourth in the ACC in scor- ing, second in rebounding, second in double-doubles, fifth in field goal per- centage, second in minutes played and tied for 15th in steals. It's quite the leap from a player that during his rookie season averaged 5.2 points and 3.5 rebounds a contest while playing 17.4 minutes per game. While Keatts would joke that he N " He's a very unusually good player. He impacts every phase of the game: scoring, rebounding, assisting and playing defense. It's very difficult to guard him. Duke Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski BREAKOUT STAR Dereon Seabron Emerges As An All-ACC Contender At the end of February, Seabron was one of five players in Division I men's basketball to lead his team in scoring (17.7 points per game), rebounding (8.3), assists (3.1) and steals (1.4). PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE ATHLETICS

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