March 11, 1983, Atlanta’s Omni Arena: “After Lo hits these two free throws I want us to guard the inbound pass, but don’t foul.” The starting five for N.C. State’s basketball team broke from the huddle and walked toward the free-throw lane. At the last second, coach Jim Valvano pulled his point guard aside and whispered, “If Lo misses these two shots I want you…”
Too often confidence is the missing key to our success.
That Friday night in Atlanta, freshman Lorenzo Charles and N.C. State needed a confidence boost. Their chance to secure an NCAA bid rested in the hands of a freshman; a player whose free-throw average stood at %67.6. Odds were, Lo would miss at least one of the shots. Maybe both. He’d never gone to the line with the outcome of the game resting in his hands. Valvano knew Lo needed a shot of confidence so in the huddle, the coach spoke of how the players were to react after Charles made his free throws.
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