GREENSBORO – L.J. Pipkin, a Laurinburg native and key member of three North Carolina A&T men’s basketball championships, died on Saturday.
He was 58.
“When I think about him and the crew who came in with me I think about the fact that these are the best guys a teammate could ever had,” former teammate and Aggie legend James Sparrow, to the A&T sports information office. “L.J. and I started out as teammates. We turned into friends and from there we turned into brothers. We were family. He was one of the best teammates and friends you could ever have in your life.”
Born L.J. Sander Pipkin on Oct. 5, 1956 in Laurinburg, Pipkin was a high school standout where he was known as a scorer and a shot blocker.
He came to N.C. A&T in 1975 under head coach Warren Reynolds. Along with teammates like Sparrow and Joe Brawner, Pipkin helped to usher in the Aggies dominance of the MEAC in the 1980s.
A&T won three consecutive MEAC titles from 1977-79, the last two under head coach Gene Littles.
Pipkin, who stood 6-foot-9, was an intimidating force on defense for the Aggies according to teammates. In 103 games played, he averaged 11.1 points and 7.0 rebounds. His 1,143 points and 723 rebounds ranks him 20th and 10th on the Aggies all-time list.
Pipkin was a two-time second-team All-MEAC performer (1976-77, 77-78). He went on to have a successful basketball career in Amsterdam where he set several scoring records.
Pipkin was living in the Amsterdam at the time of his death.
He is survived by two sons; a daughter; two brothers and two sisters; three grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.