Thanks for the Memories
Posted February 23, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — From buzzer beating baskets and net cutting ceremonies to Jim Valvano's "never give up" speech,Reynolds Coliseumhas produced 50 years of unforgetable Wolfpack memories.
Wednesday night the N.C. State men's basketball team played their last regular season game ever at Reynolds.
It was an emotional night for all who attended with many teary eyes throughout the packed crowd; especially for one man who has been in the aisles for 36 years.
Herb King has logged more than 700 games at Reynolds Coliseum. He started in the nosebleed section, but now he has one of the best seats in the house.
"I had so many people say, 'Herb you got the best seat in the house, how much will you take for it?' It's not for sale," King, an usher, said while laughing.
King hates to see the doors close at Reynolds. He wanted the Wolfpack tradition to continue in the historic building.
"If we had just gone and renovated and went down and around or just up, that to me would have been the best thing," King said. "But I'd have 10,000 people say, 'Herb you're crazy.' But that's the way I feel."
One player he will never forget is David Thompson.
"Monty Towe and David Thompson invented the alley-oop. Little Monty Towe could take that ball and throw it above the rim. David Thompson could leap straight up, get the ball in the air and drop it through the basket."
Student Wolfpack Clubmembers called roll for the last time in front of Reynolds earlier Wednesday. One student earned enough club points to get a seat up close.
"It was very exciting that I was able to be in here for the last game of Reynolds Coliseum," says student Jim Ataei. "I am very proud to be a supporter of Wolfpack athletics, and I'm glad I was here for the final game."
At halftime, State retired the jerseys of seven former players. Ronnie Shavlik and Sammy Ranzino were posthumously honored. On hand for the honor were Dick Dickey, Bobby Speight, Vic Molodet, John Richter and Lou Pucillo.
All seven players played in the late 40s and 50s under the great Everett Case, and they join David Thompson as the only Wolfpack basketball players to have their jerseys retired.
"So many great players and coaches have come through here, and it was a mecca for basketball in the South for so many years," says Les Robinson,N.C. State's athletic director.
The students had planned to storm the floor after the game, but they did not because the school held a special ceremony that left a somber tone to the evening. That is when people started crying and were upset, but it was a great ending to the final chapter of Wolfpack history in Reynolds Coliseum.