Colleges

Former Triangle basketball players named ACC legends

Posted January 31, 2013

— Three former Triangle-area basketball players were among a group of 13 people added to the Atlantic Coast Conference's legends class Thursday, league commissioner John Swofford announced.

Trajan Langdon, Dereck Whittenburg and Mike O'Koren are members of a class that features the former commissioner of the league, Gene Corrigan, and two successful head coaches, Maryland's Gary Williams and Wake Forest's Carl Tacy.

Langdon, who played guard at Duke from 1994-99, was one of the most accurate long-range shooters in league history, making 42.6 percent of his shots from deep.

He was a three-time All-ACC selection and was drafted in the first-round of the 1999 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Whittenburg, one of the key players on NC State's 1983 National Championship team, was a three-year starter for legendary head coach Jim Valvano. He is a long-time board member for the Jimmy V Foundation, which raises money for cancer research, and he serves as a game-day and studio analyst for ESPNU. 

One of the most versatile players in North Carolina history, O'Koren was the centerpiece of Tar Heel squads that captured league titles in 1977 and 1979. He is the only UNC player to have recorded at least 1,500 points, 800 rebounds and 300 assists in a career. 

O'Koren was a three-time All-America selection, two-time All-ACC selection and was drafted 6th overall by the New Jersey Nets in 1980.

Gene Corrigan, the league's commissioner from 1987-97, oversaw the ACC during a 10-year period when the conference captured three NCAA Tournament Championships and made 11 trips to the Final Four. 

Williams, the recently-retired coach of the Maryland Terrapins, led his team to the 2002 NCAA title and made 15 NCAA Tournament appearances in his 22-year career in College Park. Tacy had a similar impact in Winston-Salem, leading the Demon Deacons to 222 victories in 13 seasons between 1973-85. 

Other members of the 2013 legends class included Gerry Ward, a forward at Boston College from 1961-63, Terrell McIntyre, a guard Clemson from 1995-99, Tharon Mayes, a guard at Florida State from 1988-90, Mark Price, legendary Georgia Tech point guard who played at Georgia Tech from 1982-86, Mike Wittman, a Miami forward from 1964-67, Travis Watson, a forward for Virginia from 1999-03 and Ace Custis, a Virginia Tech forward from 1993-97. 

The newest inductees will be honored at the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, March 14-17.

11 Comments

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  • cjw6105 Jan 31, 3:58 p.m.

    Super honor or not, it will NOT make these people ACC players, let alone legends, because they never played in the ACC!

    What is so hard to understand here?

  • hokies94vt@gmail.com Jan 31, 3:08 p.m.

    I guess they listed some of these guys in the ACC since the teams are now in the ACC. I don't remember some of these guys. Some big time players and coaches though from the original ACC that I remember very well. Super honor.

  • unc70 Jan 31, 1:49 p.m.

    Hmmm...if they weren't in the ACC when they played, why are they now considered "ACC... View More

    — Posted by UpChuck

    What are you talking about? They all played or coached in the ACC.

    ETA: Oops! My mistake.... View More

    — Posted by unc70

    He's probably referring to the ones from BC, Fla St, and Miami.

    — Posted by still heelman1973

    My mistake. I somehow missed the paragraph with the non-local players.

  • UpChuck Jan 31, 1:27 p.m.

    "Reading Comprehension / F"

    Yeah, that's what I was thinking...but that's the way unc70 rolls...evidently.

  • cjw6105 Jan 31, 1:14 p.m.

    Gerry Ward of BC, Tharon Mayes of FSU, Mike Wittman of Miami and Ace Custis of VT NEVER played in the ACC, because their teams were NOT in the ACC when they played. So why are these players, little-known ones at that, being considered ACC Legends?

    Who's next? Richard "Digger" Phelps?

  • PackisBack Jan 31, 1:02 p.m.

    Hmmm...if they weren't in the ACC when they played, why are they now considered "ACC... View More

    — Posted by UpChuck

    What are you talking about? They all played or coached in the ACC.

    ETA: Oops! My mistake.... View More

    — Posted by unc70

    Reading Comprehension / F

  • tomandsuefry Jan 31, 12:40 p.m.

    Wake Forest's coach named to the legands is Carl Tacy-not Tracy

  • still heelman1973 Jan 31, 12:15 p.m.

    Hmmm...if they weren't in the ACC when they played, why are they now considered "ACC... View More

    — Posted by UpChuck

    What are you talking about? They all played or coached in the ACC.

    ETA: Oops! My mistake.... View More

    — Posted by unc70

    He's probably referring to the ones from BC, Fla St, and Miami.

  • unc70 Jan 31, 12:04 p.m.

    Hmmm...if they weren't in the ACC when they played, why are they now considered "ACC... View More

    — Posted by UpChuck

    What are you talking about? They all played or coached in the ACC.

    ETA: Oops! My mistake. Somehow missed the paragraph beginning "Other ..." Sorry.

  • K 309 > Dean 254 Jan 31, 12:00 p.m.

    Mike O'Koren was one of my favorites when I was a kid. Great all-around player from a great era in ACC basketball. Man, those were the days.

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