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'Chicken Soup' book has Triangle connections

Posted April 3, 2009
Updated April 4, 2009

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— For 19 seasons, Gary Hahn has had a front-row seat calling play-by-play for North Carolina State University on the radio.

Now the “Voice of the Wolfpack” is a published author. His short story is in the new book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball” – a collection of more than 100 inspirational stories about the game

Hahn nearly tossed away the opportunity to appear in the book when he was approached through the mail. At first, Hahn thought he had nothing to contribute.

“I was about ready to shove it into the trash, and then something flashed into my mind. I thought, well maybe I do,” Hahn said.

Hahn thought of former N.C. State Coach Les Robinson, whose role in the early 1990s was to make the players more students than athletes. As a result, the team’s record tumbled.

“Les is sort of a hero of mine in a way, because he really sacrificed his college basketball coaching career for the good of N.C. State,” Hahn said.

Another story featured in the new “Chicken Soup” book involves a pickup game between then-presidential candidate Barak Obama and some University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill players.

WEB ONLY: Obama scrimmages with UNC

Jack Wooten, a senior political science major, missed an exam to do the job of guarding the future president.

“I was like, you know what, I’m just playing basketball out here. He’s another guy right now,” Wooten said.

As the story in the book goes, UNC Coach Roy Williams yelled at Wooten for doing his job a little too well.

“I’m as competitive as the next guy, and I wanted to win the pickup game,” Wooten said.

Wooten doesn't see much playing time on the court, but he has been a part of the Carolina team for some momentous occasions.

“You can’t really compare playing against the president to playing in the Final Four. They’re so different but equally awesome,” Wooten said.

Another Triangle connection exists in the “Chicken Soup” book – Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski wrote the forward for it.

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