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    PEELER: Pack to Play on UNO's Corchiani Court


    RALEIGH, N.C. Months ago, former NC State record-breaking point guard Chris Corchiani made plans to go to New Orleans’ home basketball season-opener, regardless of who the opponent might be.

    That’s because his older brother, Gabe Corchiani, Jr., is a former four-year starter for the Privateers who in July teamed with business partner John Georges to give the New Orleans basketball program a $1 million gift to finish the renovations to UNO’s Lakefront Arena.

    The on-campus arena has been out of commission the last three seasons, because of damage suffered during Hurricane Katrina. Water and wind damage forced the entire building to be gutted and refurbished, making way for a $26 million makeover that includes new lockerrooms, an advanced video room and a new playing floor.

    That court, in honor of Gabe Jr.’s donation, will be named for their late father, Gabe Corchiani Sr., who coached both of his sons to be point guards at Hialeah Miami (Fla.) High School and closely followed each of their college careers.

    So the Corchiani family reunion with their mother Kathy and sister Kathy and all the grandchildren of Gabe Corchiani Sr. was set.

    “Then, about a month after they made the announcement, I got a call from my brother saying You are not going to believe who New Orleans is playing in this game: NC State,’” said Chris Corchiani, who established the NCAA record with 1,035 career assists during his four years with the Wolfpack. “It was totally coincidental. But it will make the whole game even better, since it will be played on Corchiani Court.’”

    Like Chris, Gabe remains his school’s all-time leader in assists, though his total of 456 didn’t quite match what his brother did at NC State. But he and forward Ledell Eackles helped the Privateers advance to the second round of the 1987 NCAA Basketball Tournament and Gabe is one of 20 players in school history to score more than 1,000 career points.

    “He was a different kind of point guard,” Chris explained. “He once had nine 3-pointers in a game. He was more of a 2-guard who played the point.”
    For the Wolfpack, this will be the first time opening on an opponent’s home court since Chris Corchiani senior season of 1990-91, when first-year coach Les Robinson and his squad traveled to Florida International.

    The game tips off at 8 p.m.

    You may contact Tim Peeler at



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