Dick Vitale has seen quite a few college basketball upsets during his decades calling games for ESPN. The esteemed and enthusiastic commentator has likely also seen many students storm many courts over the years. But something he saw in the aftermath of N.C. State's upset over Duke on Saturday, left Vitale at least as concerned as he was amped.
"Oh watch the young guy in the wheelchair. We got a wheelchair out there. Unbelievable. Did you see that? Oh my heart goes out I hope he's okay. I hope he's okay," Vitale said during ESPN's broadcast of the ACC upset.
Will Privette, an N.C. State student who has been in a wheelchair his whole life, was one of the first students who made it on to the court. According to ThePostGame.com, the 22-year-old senior was born without a tibia.
Privette turned out to be okay, thanks in part to Wolfpack star C.J. Leslie.
"I got hit from one side. It was like a wave. It toppled me over. I fell out of my wheelchair. I was on the ground, and I had my phone in my hand -- I was trying to film the event -- and the phone flew out of my hands and my glasses flew off my face," Privette told USA Today Sports. "C.J. Leslie was in the middle (of the crowd) and he saw me. I knew him from being around campus. He pushed everyone back and told everyone, 'Get back, get back.' Once everyone moved and realized what was going on, he picked me up and I've described it as like how you'd hold a baby. Once I realized I wasn't in trouble any more, I started to scream, like 'Wooooo! Let's go!'"
A picture snapped during the postgame frenzy showed Leslie coming to the aid of Privette.
(H/T to @WillBrinson)
Privette later took to Twitter to thank those who retrieved his wheelchair and fixed it. Then he posted the video he took from his phone while he rolled on to the court.
N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried also tweeted about the incident, sharing his relief that Privette was fine. Gottfriend also let everyone know that Privette is among the Wolfpack's most loyal fans.