Former Duke hoops star Kenny Dennard ready with book(Includes his greatest game of all-time.)

Posted by Andy Durham on October 5, 2010 at 10:53 am under College | Read the First Comment


Kenny Dennard has decided to, in his words, “I have finally broken down to peer pressure and have officially started my new multimedia “book” project titled — “Back Stories from the Front Lines” — it will be a Pulp Fiction style collection of amazing things that I have seen, heard, experienced and forgotten (then reminded of much later), all from the multiple phases of my walk on this planet. From my incredible family, friends, teammates, colleagues, associates and clients with whom I have shared this life, to the misfits, prima donnas, posers, hosers and losers with whom I have breathed the same air as well, it should be a fun project over the next several years. And I plan to publish this “book” electronically with words, embedded pop up pictures and video links that roll with the flow of the stories. “

The Duke Basketball Report asked him if they could run some of the stories, and he said they could.

Here’s one of the best all-time stories, from Kenny Dennard and The Duke Basketball Report and be sure to check out The Duke Basketball Report, for more from one of the great Duke Blue Devil legends, Kenny Dennard……

Gene’s(Banks) and my last regular season home game EVER was tied at 56 and Sam Perkins was at the line for two foul shots with just 2 seconds on the clock. It may have looked pretty bleak to our fans, but we were focused. For four years we had been practicing these exact game situations everyday. I looked over to Coach K and he signaled for me to call timeout if he makes them both or misses the second shot, either way. And we only had one timeout remaining. Focus. Block out. Get the ball. Call timeout.

Perkins made them both, and before I had the chance to call timeout, Coach Smith called timeout! That saved our only timeout, and that helped set up this once-in-a-lifetime buzzer beater. Fact: If Dean Smith had not called timeout, we could not have advanced the ball to half court and called timeout.

In the video clip, Billy Packer credits Coach K for calling the timeout to set up the pass to half court, but it was actually Coach Smith who made the tactical mistake and made this victory possible. No one I know has ever told that part of the story publicly.

That’s one part of the story. The other part that you may not know is the fact that Coach K told us during our timeout, “Everyone thinks the ball is going to go to Gene.” So he drew the play up for Gene to set a pick down for Chip Engelland on the baseline and for me to pass to Chip in the corner for the shot. Don’t get me wrong, Chip was a great shooter, and it looked good on paper, but it wasn’t gonna happen.

When we broke the huddle after the timeout, Gene and I looked at each other with THAT LOOK and I said, “Tink, fake the pick and flash back to the foul line and the ball will be waiting for you.” Tink said, “Good Doggie!”

I ball faked to Chip in the corner, which made the entire Tarheel team lean just a little to my right, and the rest is history! Tinker Bell made the perfect shot and we went on to win in overtime. Coach K was happy, we were happy, the fans went crazy! And later that night in Greensboro, the Bruce Springsteen concert on the 10th row capped off the most perfect day!

Looking back, I have won a lot of games in my day, but that was the greatest “winning feeling” I ever had. And it was against a star-studded UNC team that made it to the Final Four and was National Runner-Up that year.

CLICK HERE to read more and to the video clips at The Duke Basketball Report…..

  • Bruce Mitchell said,

    This was one of the great games in all of Duke basketball history. I was at the very top of Cameron that afternoon, and when Tink and Kenny came out in tuxedoes for their Senior Day, there was hope against hope that the Blue Devils could pull off a miracle.

    When the miracle came and the great Gene Banks hit that shot to tie the game the old building shook. I also went to that Springsteen concert at the Coliseum later that night, his first here, and had chills when, at the break, “Go to hell, Carolina! Go to Hell!” started up yet again.

    What a day.

    And who could have known that it was only the beginning…