Whittenburg Selected 2013 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament Legend
Jan. 31, 2013
RALEIGH - A member of NC State's 1983 "Cardiac Pack" national championship squad, Dereck Whittenburg, has been selected as the Wolfpack's 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Legend. The announcement was made Thursday by ACC Commissioner John Swofford.
Whittenburg was a four-year letterwinner for the Pack from 1980-83, scoring 1,272 points in 109 career games, which ranks 28th in program history. He is second in career 3-point field goal percentage, connecting on 47.6 percent of his attempts from behind the arc, during the ACC's experimental season with the 3-point shot. Whittenburg was a 1983 All-ACC Tournament first-team selection after averaging 14.3 points and 4.3 rebounds. During State's '83 NCAA Tournament run, he also earned NCAA All-Regional honors. During his career, he helped NC State to an 82-41 overall mark and three NCAA appearances.
Whittenburg was the epitome of coach Jim Valvano's "survive and advance" mantra, first used in the '83 ACC Tournament. The Washington, D.C., native broke his right foot in a loss to Virginia and was thought to be lost for the year. After dropping three of its next four following his injury, the Pack won eight of its next 10. With three regular-season contests remaining, Whittenburg was cleared to return to the lineup. His return bolstered the Pack and helped it to last-minute victories over Wake Forest (71-70), North Carolina (91-84) and Virginia (81-78) to capture the ACC Tournament crown.
In its NCAA Tournament run through the West Region, Whittenburg helped NC State to first- and second-round victories over Pepperdine (69-67) and UNLV (71-70) followed by regional wins over Utah (75-56) and Virginia (63-62) to advance to the Final Four.
After a seven-point triumph over Georgia (67-60) in the national semifinal, Whittenburg and NC State moved on to play for the national title against heavily favored and top-ranked Houston and Akeem Olajuwon.
In a game of runs by both teams, State had the ball with 44 seconds to play. After a timeout, the Pack scurried during its final possession. The ensuing play would forever ensconce Whittenburg in Wolfpack lore. Valvano's plan was to have Sidney Lowe penetrate and create a shot. Instead the ball was in Whittenburg's hands and from 25 feet from the basket he launched a shot that was off the mark, but it landed in the hands of teammate and fellow legend Lorenzo Charles, who dunked it home for the winning basket in the 54-52 thriller. Whittenburg earned All-Final Four honors as well.
Following his playing days, Whittenburg entered the coaching profession, starting as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, then with stops at George Mason, Long Beach State, again at NC State, Colorado, West Virginia and Georgia Tech before he landed head coaching assignments at Wagner and Fordham.
Whittenburg is now a color analyst for ESPN and is the executive producer of the upcoming ESPN 30-for-30 movie, `Survive and Advance,' about the 1983 championship, which is set to air on Selection Sunday.
The Legends will be honored at this year's ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum, March 14-17. They will be celebrated at the annual ACC Legends Brunch, which will be held Saturday, March, 16, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Guilford Ballroom of the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel, and later that day, the group will be introduced to fans at halftime of the first semifinal game. Ticket information for the ACC Legends Brunch is available on the ACC's website at theACC.com.
2012-13 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament Legends
NC State ACC Tournament Legends
1999 David Thompson
2000 Tommy Burleson
2001 Norm Sloan
2002 Lou Pucillo
2003 50th Anniversary Team
2004 Chris Corchiani
2005 Kenny Carr
2006 Bob Speight
2007 Tom Gugliotta
2008 Lorenzo Charles
2009 Monte Towe
2010 Rodney Monroe
2011 Thurl Bailey
2012 Todd Fuller
2013 Dereck Whittenburg