...We recently caught up with former Wake Forest coach Dave Odom, now at South Carolina, and asked him to recount the story of how the Demon Deacons landed Duncan. Here is Odom's response:
"I was sitting in my office during the summer prior to (Duncan's) arrival. It happened to be back in the days when the NBA used to take a team of draftees on a goodwill tour. One of our former players at Wake Forest, Chris King, had been picked for that year's traveling team, which also had Alonzo Mourning and some other great American players.
"The NBA used to send those teams out to some obscure places in the world, places that didn't normally see NBA-like basketball players. This particular summer, the NBA sent the team down to the Caribbean, and they were island-hopping and playing against some of the local teams down there, doing clinics and just kind of making everybody feel good.
"In August, when the team got back, I was in my office and Chris King popped in one day. We were just chatting about his visit and his experience down in the Caribbean. I said to him, kind of rhetorically, You didn't see anybody down there I ought to be looking at, did you?' He said, Coach, you know, there was one kid.' I said, Oh, really? How tall was he?' Chris said he was about 6-9 but only about 190 pounds. I asked, How good was he?' Chris said, Well, he was the only guy who looked like he could stand up to Alonzo Mourning.' I said, Huh!' I asked for the player's name, but Chris said he didn't know. I asked which island the player was on, and Chris said he didn't remember because they were on about 10 different islands during their trip. I just kind of filed that information away.
"Two days later, I was talking to my staff. One of my guys at the time was Larry Davis, who's now at Cincinnati. Larry said he had some experience with kids from the islands, and that he would make a couple of calls. Two days later, we had Tim Duncan's name, we had his telephone number, we had his school, we had his coach, we had his island, we had his town. We touched base with him, and by October I was on a plane to go down there and see him play. I saw him play one time, then signed him later that fall. It was really that easy."
<p class="callout">"There's Way More In Store... RENEW TODAY" <p class="attribution"><br> <span class="attribution"></span>