Years before the 1992 Olympic basketball “Dream Team” with Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, David Robinson, and Charles Barkley – there was the 1963 WRAL Hardwood Magicians!
Pictured (left) are seven of the 10 WRAL Hardwood Magicians. These former college basketball players laced up their Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars and made numerous appearances in the Channel 5 viewing area.
Who are these guys? The back row, left to right, shows Whitey Bell who played for NC State and then for the NY Knicks , Bob MacGillivray – a forward who played for NC State in 1960, Grey Poole – played for the Tar Heels 1957-1960, and our own Nick Pond – a forward for NC State and then legendary sportscaster on WRAL. The front row, left to right, features Everett Norton, Tom Little, and Denny Lutz – a guard for NC State. Not pictured is Bob DiStefano who played center for the Wolfpack and Olin Broadway played for Wake Forest University 1956-1959. Plus, hold on to your hat, Roman Gabriel who broke many records when he played quarterback for the Wolfpack and was the 2nd overall pick in the 1962 NFL Draft. He played 11 years for the L.A. Rams and five years for the Philadelphia Eagles!
The Channel 5 Basketball team played in the National Biddy Basketball League in Rocky Mount and won top league honors with a 12-2 record.
Thanks to Corp’s Pam Allen for this capcom story. Pam Parris Allen is a former WRAL newscast producer/director who now works as a researcher and producer on the CBC History Project.