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Hokies walk-on has a night to remember

Many people outside Blacksburg might not know who Paul Debnam is. But at Virginia Tech, he is a crowd favorite.

Debnam, the Hokies' senior walk-on, had a night to remember in Monday's 72-30 drubbing of North Carolina Central.

Debnam scored 5 points and invigorated the crowd with a thunderous dunk. Those numbers were not the best of his career -- he scored 6 points in 5 minutes in a win over Longwood on Dec. 30 -- but Monday night's effort was certainly one of the more memorable.

Debnam checked in the game with 3 minutes 3 seconds remaining, when Virginia Tech had a 67-27 lead. It was Debnam's seventh appearance this season, and the 19th of his three-year career.

He took a pass for Ben Boggs near the Hokies bench and drained a three-pointer with 2:19 on the clock. The fans went wild. Then, with 1:29 left, Debnam got the ball on N.C. Central's baseline and drove hard to the basket. He flushed the ball for an uncontested dunk and then popped his jersey.

The Hokies' win over N.C. Central was otherwise forgettable, a win they needed to have as they ready for a 13-game push toward March in the relentless Atlantic Coast Conference. But even though Virginia Tech will have to wait to learn its fate pertaining to the NCAA tournament, Debnam had his one shining moment on Monday night.

By Mark Viera  |  January 19, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
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