N.C. State retired Charles‘ No. 43 jersey in 2008, the 25th anniversary of the championship.
“He holds a special place in Wolfpack history and in the hearts of generations of fans,” Gottfried said in a statement. “We just reconnected with him last week and our staff was stunned to hear this terrible news.”
ACC Commissioner John Swofford said Charles‘ play had an uplifting effect.
“As a former player, he made us believe in the amazing and all of us in the ACC send out our thoughts and prayers to his entire family,” Swofford said in a statement.
Charles played one season in the NBA, averaging 3.4 points in 36 games with the Atlanta Hawks in 1985-86, and played internationally and in the Continental Basketball Association until 1999.
A message left on a phone listed to Charles wasn’t immediately returned Monday night.
Thurl Bailey, one of Charles‘ teammates on the championship team, said it’s tough to accept that the player who made the game-winning dunk is gone.
“But I heard someone say, I was talking to them on the phone about this, that Jimmy V finally found somebody to hug,” Bailey told WRAL-TV.
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