Converse's favorite son, Monte Towe was a standout athlete and a three sport superstar, but it was basketball that gave birth to his legend. Everyone's heard the stories: dribbling a basketball to and from school everyday; the countless hours on the court; shooting drills involving the firing of high arching, nothing but net shots over the tops of step ladders. Monte was the proverbial David who got the opportunity to extend the metaphor when he led Oak Hill High School in the toppling of long-time rivals, the Marion Giants, in the 1971 Sectional, which led to his being selected as an Indiana All-Star.
Success followed Monte to the collegiate level, playing point guard for North Carolina State alongside the legendary David Thompson. The two were instrumental in the creation of the alley-oop, as Monte's accurate rainbow arching passes would be found by the gravity defying Thompson, culminating in thunderous slam dunks. As the floor leader, Monte led the Wolfpack to a stunning double-overtime win over UCLA, 80-77 in the national semifinals. N.C. State then went on to defeat Marquette, 76-64, to claim the first national championship ever for the Wolfpack. He earned All-Eastern Regional team, Final Four all-Tournament team and Converse All-America team honors. A 1974 all-ACC selection, Monte posted a remarkable 79-7 overall record during his three-year career, including an amazing 57-1 stretch from 1972-73 (27-0) and 1973-74 (30-1). The Wolfpack won two ACC titles in 1972-73 and 1973-74. Monte did not lose a conference game until his senior season.
Following his senior campaign, Monte Towe was selected as the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner, an honor that annually selects the top player in the nation who stands less than six feet tall.
Monte followed up his successes in high school and college with a brief stint in the ABA and NBA with the Denver Nuggets before turning to his first love, coaching. After a journeyman career that has led him from assisting at NC State and the University of Florida, to head coaching in the GBA, PLC, and assisting in the CBA, to positions at Chipola, UNC-Asheville, and Santa Fe Community college. He is now in his fourth season as the head coach of the University of New Orleans Privateers.
The Converse native had his number "25" jersey honored at N.C. State in early January 2002 and was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in March 2002.
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