Billy Feldman PRO

The Word

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Al Tucker and his brother Gerald at Oklahoma Baptist University are sometimes credited with being the first to use the alley-oop in the mid-1960s.[1] Others credit David Thompson as the first player to execute the classic alley-oop play while at North Carolina State University, with his teammates Monte Towe and Tim Stoddard performing the necessary lob passes. NCSU's Thompson popularized the play during the early 1970s, exploiting his 44-inch vertical leap to make the above-the-rim play a recurring staple in the Wolfpack's offensive attack.[2] Because dunking was illegal in college basketball at that time, upon catching the pass, Thompson would simply drop the ball through the hoop - never dunking one until the final play of the final home game of his career. During the 1990s NBA stars turned the alley-oop into the game's ultimate quick strike weapon. North Carolina State also won a national championship on what could be considered the most famous alley-oop of all time against the University of Houston. With time running out and the score tied in the 1983 championship game in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dereck Whittenburg shot short of the rim, which effectively functioned as a pass to Lorenzo Charles, who caught the ball and stuffed it through the net to win the title.