Wofford College is many things. It’s the backdrop to a top-75 liberal arts program. It’s a historical home to 19th-century Italianate architecture. And, most importantly for our purposes today, it’s the cauldron that berthed a Southern Conference champion which thrashed Seton Hall with a barrage of three-pointers in the first round of the 2019 NCAA tournament.
Wofford is also the fourth-largest institution of higher learning in the city of Spartanburg, South Carolina, tucked away in the northwest corner of the state.
Spartanburg is a city of approximately 37,000 people and the famed home of Wofford, the University of South Carolina-Upstate, and the headquarters of Denny’s restaurants. It’s also where Zion Williamson, the reason why most of us picked Duke to reign supreme over our brackets, grew up. Williamson even took an unofficial visit with the Terriers in 2017 — though he took the coward’s way out instead of pushing Wofford to greatness as the greatest mid-major recruit of all time.
What else should I know about Wofford and Spartansburg?
- The Terriers have won the Southern Conference championship five times in the past decade. They’ve got as many SoCon titles as Duke (who left in 1953) and more than Alabama, Clemson, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Maryland, and South Carolina (all tied with one each).
- Wofford basketball has produced one first-round NBA Draft pick — 6’11 center Jim Neal, who was the No. 6-overall selection in 1953. He played for two seasons in the league, averaging 4.4 points per game in stints with the Syracuse Nationals and Baltimore Bullets.
- The college’s most famous athletic alumni is sexual harasser Jerry Richardson, who played wide receiver for the Baltimore Colts before founding and then having to sell the Carolina Panthers in shame.
- The Panthers pay tribute to their founder’s roots by holding their training camp at Wofford every summer.
- Spartanburg is home to the Hub City Hog Fest, a two-day barbecue competition that sounds amazing and could coincide with a Terriers’ berth in the Final Four.
- Spartanburg is also home to George Gray, the professional wrestler better known as One Man Gang or, in decidedly less sensitive times, Akeem the African Dream.
Hooooo boy. that’s racist.