Dancing, singing and … boxing highlight NC States Primetime with the Pack event

The Wolfpacks basketball team pulled out all the stops for its late night event in Reynolds Coliseum

RALEIGH — On a night where the NC State men’s basketball team christened the renovated Reynolds Coliseum, the story was about anything but the play on the court.After the crowd erupted for stars like Dennis Smith, Abdul-Malik Abu and Omer Yurtseven, a “special guest” took the court. NC State fans looked befuddled by the appearance of Deontay Wilder, the current WBC heavyweight title holder with no relation to NC State or North Carolina at all.Then walked out a caped boxer to spar with the heavyweight. When the hood came off, Mark Gottfried unleashed the most menacing grin he could muster through laughter.Gottfried then took a step back and pulled the top off to reveal the coach’s bare-chested physique in all its glory. After dancing around the midcourt logo with Wilder, Gottfried broke out in laughter and retreated from the heavyweight champion.So, @Mark_Gottfried's entrance was . He just "sparred" with Deontay Wilder! pic.twitter.com/mS2eTxSCuy— Cory Smith (@RCorySmith) October 22, 2016
Leading up to the event, Wilder said Gottfried reached out to the Alabama native about the routine. Wilder, who attended a Gottfried basketball camp at Alabama when he was in high school, took on the challenge from his long-time friend.As for the unveiling of Gottfried’s bare chest, that was entirely Wilder’s idea.”I had to get talked into taking my shirt off, that was actually Deontay,” Gottfried said. “He said, ‘Coach, you can’t wear a shirt if you’re going to go with boxing shorts.’ It ended up being a lot of fun.”Had he been working on the physique at all?”A little bit, a little bit,” Gottfried said with a smirk. “I’m getting there day by day. A long way to go, though.”Prior to the head coach taking the floor, his players knew nothing about what would take place. Smith and Abu shared their thoughts following the interesting kickoff to the night.”I was shocked,” Smith said with a smile. “Not the smartest move he made. I’m not sure he wants to spar with Deontay Wilder, but it was pretty fun to see.””I had no clue … I didn’t want Deontay to kill him, though,” Abu said. “We need him for the season. That right hook is deadly.”Following Gottfried’s revealing introduction, Abu, Lennard Freeman and BeeJay Anya serenaded the crowd while Smith and Torin Dorn sang backup vocals. This was all before the dance team faced off with the men’s basketball team in a dance-off. It was a no-contest with the dance team winning in a rout.While it was all fun and games, Abu joked afterward that fans might hear more from him in the future.”That’s the best kept secret out here right now,” Abu said. “I’m about to drop an R&B album soon after the season.”On the court, Dennis Smith Jr. dazzled with alley-oops and high-flying dunks for the red team. One oop even went to himself off the glass early [email protected] pic.twitter.com/MolPRQGuUY— Pack Pride (@PackPride) October 22, 2016
“That was just instinct,” Smith said. “I saw the opportunity and had to snatch it.”Ultimately, the white team pulled out the victory led by Abu, Terry Henderson and Ted Kapita. While it didn’t mean much in the grand scheme, NC State fans got a glimpse of how special this season can be for the Wolfpack and the personality of the entire team.”This is only the beginning,” Abu said. “It was a great time. We wanted to give the fans a great show. … These fans are everything. We can’t do it without them.”