The Atlantic Coast Conference has long showcased some of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game. Some of the names to have passed through the ACC include Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Christian Laettner, Ralph Sampson, and Grant Hill. But there’s no way that list of the greatest in ACC would be complete without a David Thompson appearance.
Largely considered one of the greatest in the history of the conference, David Thompson led the NC State Wolfpack first to an undefeated regular season. However, because of NCAA violations, the Wolfpack weren’t allowed to compete in the postseason that year. That didn’t much matter to Thompson, as the next year he came back and led NC State to its first National Championship over reigning national champions, the UCLA Bruins.
Thompson’s successful college career translated well, if not better, to the professional ranks. He started his pro career with the ABA’s Denver Nuggets, and remained with the team when they moved to the NBA. Thompson made four NBA All-Star Game appearances and was even signed to a then-record-breaking contract of $4 million over five-years.
But the vices of fame and fortune would eventually derail Thompson’s career. Substance abuse problems led Thompson down a career-ending path, and almost ended his life. Today, however, Thompson is clean. An although he’s not proud of some of the mistakes he made during his playing days, he uses those experiences to teach children how to use their personal gifts and avoid the pitfalls that success can bring.
**David Thompson Speaker**
Today, the best David Thompson speaker appearances feature the once-great player teaching children how to succeed while avoiding many of the damaging and life-ruining mistakes he made in the face of fame and fortune.
**David Thompson Appearance**
A famous David Thompson appearance happened in 1975 against UNC-Charlotte. During Thompson’s playing days, slam dunks were outlawed, so even though Thompson had a 48” vertical, he could never show completely show it off. But that didn’t stop him. Although Thompson had never dunked during his collegiate career, early in the second half he drove the length of the court and jammed down his only dunk of his collegiate career. The dunk was immediately voided and he received a technical foul. However, as head coach Norm Sloan removed Thompson from the game, he went to the bench cheered on by thunderous applause.
**David Thompson Endorsement**
Today, there can be a David Thompson endorsement on any kind of charity or foundation that emphasizes teaching children how to succeed, as working with children has become Thompson’s life passion.
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