Chris Washburn was recruited as a one of the top-3 freshmen in 1984 when he accepted an invitation from Jimmy Valvano to come to NC State. He played Center and stayed with NC State during the rebuilding season after the 1983 championship run and saw NC State to two Elite 8 appearances, only to lose to #1 seeds St. Johns and Kansas, respectively. He would be drafted 3rd overall in 1986 into the NBA, but later be banned from the Association after failing 3 drug tests. Even during Valvano’s tenure, Washburn had to be suspected for the last months of his freshmen year due to poor conduct. A disappointing end to an amnazing athlete’s career and legacy.
It was only when Sidney Lowe began coaching at NC State that the basketball program made attempts to reconnect with Washburn, but as recent as the 2011 season, NC State was still distancing itself from the former player by not including him in their “Where Are They Now?” program for the basketball season.
Twenty-Six years later Washburn is focusing on more humble pursuits… by opening a restaurant that focuses on those who can’t afford to go out to eat. The place is called “Washburn’s Wings and More” which offers dishes for $5 or less and gives patrons the opportunity to “work for their food” if they can’t afford it.
This story isn’t new, but for some reason it’s re-emerging in the mainstream media. Either way, as a family, we can’t turn our backs on a veteran player just because he made some poor decisions. If you’re in the area, make sure to check out Washburn’s Wings & More and make sure to tell him THANK YOU for all he did for the Wolfpack while he was here.