NC State's Bailey: Spirit of 1983 championship team will never die
Posted August 8
Forward Thurl Bailey spent four years at NC State, a solid playing career capped by the 1983 National Championship. From there, he spent 12 years playing in the NBA – mostly with the Utah Jazz. He retired in 1999 but hasn't strayed far from the game.
"I've been a broadcaster. So I do all the pre, post and halftime for all the Jazz's televised games," said Bailey.
The man with the powerful voice is also a motivational speaker who can punctuate his message with vocals.
"I can throw out a few tunes," said Bailey.
Harry Chapin's 'Cats in the Cradle' is one of his favorites. It's the story of a father who was too busy at work to spend time with his son.
"You should see it sometimes, I'm singing that and dads are crying," said Bailey. "You can see them reflecting and thinking about regardless of what's going on in their lives they have to make sure they are there for their families."
Thurl Bailey enjoys being the father of six. One daughter Breelle is a volleyball star at Arizona State. His son Brendan is a rising high school junior in Utah, the 6-7 wing hopes to play in college.
"It was kind of cool, one of his last two tournaments, NC State was there," said Bailey. "As a matter of fact, there were a lot of ACC schools there."
This weekend here in Raleigh, Bailey will spend time with his band of brothers from the 1983 team.
"It's important for us to do that because we're getting older," said Bailey.
The roster has thinned – gone are the head coach, an assistant and the man responsible for that thunderous dunk. When the ESPN documentary 'Survive and Advance' was filmed two years ago, the team made a promise to do everything possible to huddle up once a year.
"The spirit of what we did and who we are will never die," said Bailey. "Although we have a few who aren't here physically we'll take the opportunity to pay homage. They'll be with us at the table as we tell our stories. We will laugh a lot, probably shed a few tears. But that's what families do."