The Wolfpacker

November 2015 Issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 145 of 155

144 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY TIM PEELER C hris Corchiani remembers the night that "Fire" was extinguished by tears. It was last fall, when he saw his son Chris Jr. run onto the court at PNC Arena wearing a red-and-white NC State uniform for the first time. It hit dad hard. "There was just so much emotion about it," said the proud dad. "So much to think back on, about what the school meant to me and what it has meant to him through the years." Chris Corchiani Jr. is now entering his second season as a member of head coach Mark Gottfried's basketball team. He still wears the No. 13 his father wore, one that hangs as an honored jersey from the rafters. The younger Corchiani — "Deuce" to those who know him — understands that there will likely never be an honored jer- sey junior beside it. He never enrolled at NC State to be a superstar. "For me, personally, to come here and go to the same school that not only my dad went, but also my mom [Stewart] and so many other family members went to is something that is really cool," Chris Jr. said. "I grew up a State fan and have known all about what my dad did here during his career. Some people think it might be tough because I am coming in with a different role as a walk-on player. But I embrace the role. "I could have played at some smaller schools, but for me there is just a lot of pride in being able to put on an NC State jersey, go out and be part of the program." The elder Corchiani has been close to ev- ery coach that followed in the footsteps of Jim Valvano, who recruited the young point guard from Miami to play with sweet- shooting Rodney Monroe of Baltimore. Together, "Fire and Ice" made up one of the most prolific backcourt combinations in college basketball history, with Monroe breaking David Thompson's career scor- ing record with 2,551 points in four years, and Corchiani becoming the first player in NCAA history to collect more than 1,000 assists. His 1,038 career assists still rank second behind Duke's Bobby Hurley (1,076) in the Division I record books. Following up that kind of legacy could be intimidating for either of their sons. "It's really not something we ever talked about," Chris Sr. said. "He just loves being part of the team. He does the job that he's there to do. He's his own person. He's hav- ing fun and doing well in school, and that's all any father could ask for." Last year, the younger Corch enjoyed the ride. The Wolfpack posted a 22-14 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 for the second time in Gottfried's four years. He played in just five games, but had his first career assist in the season opener and brought the house down when he scored his only basket of the season against Virginia Tech. He's not in it for the statistics, however. "Being part of this program with all its rich history is really something special," he said. Father-son legacies have been relatively rare in the history of men's basketball at NC State. Phil DiNardo of Philadelphia helped head coach Everett Case win the first three ACC championships (1954-56), while working on a rigorous mechanical ■ PACK PAST The Corchianis Are The Latest Father-Son Basketball Tandem At NC State Chris Corchiani, who ranks second in NCAA Division I history with 1,038 career assists, acknowl- edged he was emotional when his son Chris Corchiani Jr. (above) took the court for the first time last season as a walk-on at NC State. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS

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