Former Hawks player Lorenzo Charles dies in bus crash


Lorenzo Charles, who played one season for the Atlanta Hawks but is best remembered as a basketball hero of North Carolina State’s second national championship, has died in a bus crash.

Charles, 47, was driving the bus, which had no passengers when the accident occurred, on Interstate 40 near Durham, N.C. No other vehicles were involved.

Charles was a second-round pick of the Hawks and played 36 games for them in 1986. That was his only season in the NBA.

He is better remembered as the hero of North Carolina State’s 1983 national championship — he grabbed Dereck Whittenburg’s 30-foot missed desperation shot and dunked it at the buzzer to give N.C. State a 54-52 win over Houston (a team that featured Hakeem Olajuwon) and a second national title for coach Jim Valvano.