An autopsy revealed that former N.C. State basketball standout Charles Shackleford died of an enlarged heart, a state medical examiner’s report said Monday.
No drugs were found in his system and no foul play was suspected, according to the medical examiner’s report.
Shackleford, 50, was found dead at his Kinston home Jan. 27.
Shackleford – the original basketball “Shack,” at least to collegiate fans – was on the Wolfpack team that won the ACC title in 1987, the last time N.C. State claimed the league title. He was named an All-ACC forward in 1988.
He declared hardship and entered the NBA draft his junior year. He was drafted by the New Jersey Nets in the second round and played for them for two seasons.
He later played for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Minnesota Timberwolves and joined the Charlotte Hornets in 1999, retiring that year after playing in 32 games. Between NBA jobs, he played in Europe.
Trouble in Raleigh
In college, Shackleford was highly talented player but a troublesome figure off the court.
In 1986, he was kicked off the team because of poor grades but later reinstated after signing an agreement that he would attend his classes. His conduct in the program became an issue in the turmoil that led to the 1990 ouster of coach Jim Valvano.
Though Shackleford acknowledged receiving more than $60,000 in loans in violation of NCAA rules, a New Jersey grand jury later found insufficient evidence to support any criminal charges in an alleged point-shaving scheme.
Shackleford, called to testify in the Rae Carruth trial in 2000, admitted that while he was married he dated a woman who also dated Carruth, a Carolina Panther accused of being involved in the death of his pregnant girlfriend.
Shackleford was arrested several times on drug-related charges, including in 2010 when he was accused of selling prescription narcotics in Kinston to an undercover deputy, though the charge was later dropped. By then, Shackleford told the court, he had lost all the money he’d earned during his NBA career.