From the old book, the one that wasn’t published, not the current book, the one that was:

Marshall Case settled into his seat at Charlotte’s Halton Arena for the Davidson-UNCC game in December of 1997. A stranger approached him.

“You’re Marshall Case, aren’t you?” the man said. “You played for Davidson, right?”

Yes and yes, Case responded.

In 1971-72.

As a walk-on.

The Annandale, Virginia, native appeared in 19 games that year, primarily as a backup point guard. He scored a total of 33 points on five-for-15 shooting, hit 23 of 24 free throw attempts, passed for nine assists and got six rebounds. And this guy, a generation later, in UNCC’s arena, remembered.

“That’s what it was like,” said Case, who still lives and works in Davidson.

The Case case is perhaps an extreme example, but not the only example of Charlotte’s one-time infatuation with Davidson’s basketball team.

Case isn’t the only one.

Barry Teague gets it. If for no other reason than his steal against Duke’s Art Heyman. “I have people to this day come up and talk to me about that game,” Teague said.

And Wayne Huckel, a rough-and-tumble guard during the team’s two regional final appearances who now works on the 42nd floor of the Nations Bank corporate center in Charlotte, has been confronted by wide-eyed parents of his children’s friends. They want to meet Wayne Huckel. The Wayne Huckel.

Davidson basketball players were the Beatles of Mecklenburg County. Boys wrote asking for autographs or tips on basketball. Area junior high and high school girls, giggly and obsessed, sent doting fan mail and baked cakes, cookies and brownies.

For Ronnie Stone, a Class of 1966 reserve, there was a slew of letter-writing fans. But no one wrote more than Ann Margaret Summers.

“I have just about all the paper clippings of the Davidson ballgames,” the Statesville High junior wrote in a letter dated February 23, 1966. Enclosed was a stick of Juicy Fruit. “Some of my girlfriends went to see you play N.Y.U. I was planning to go but couldn’t. They got autographs from the players there. They brought me a program of the game. I cut out your picture and would like for you to autograph it for me. My friends and I decided to pick a player and write to him. I picked you. (Lucky you.) …

“All my friends call me ‘Kiki,’ so you can call me that, too.”

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