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East Carolina Pirates
The East Carolina Pirates are the intercollegiate sports teams representing East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina. All varsity-level sports teams participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I (FBS for football) as a member of the American Athletic Conference (The American). The school became an NCAA member in 1961. Pirates have long been associated with the North Carolina coast. One of the most famous pirates, Blackbeard, resided in the North Carolina coastal communities of Bath, Beaufort and Ocracoke. The modern day mascot is based on the description of Blackbeard. Many other pirates used the shallow coast and Outer Banks to evade capture. ECU officially became the Pirates in 1934. In 1983, a contest was developed to name the Pirates. Children from all over Pitt County submitted their ideas, and Pee Dee the Pirate was chosen. The Pee Dee River is a river along the North Carolina and South Carolina border where pirates often set up camp. The name was less than popular with ECU students, and in 1985 Chancellor Howell decided on his own to drop "Pee Dee" and be known only as "The Pirates". People still use the terms Pee Dee and Petey as the terms for The Pirates, and PeeDee is still the name of their mascot.
The Pirates have also made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament, with the latest appearance occurring in 1993 where they played the North Carolina Tar Heels. East Carolina has had four players to reach the NBA level, Theodore "Blue" Edwards, who was selected by the Utah Jazz with the 21st overall pick of the 1989 NBA Draft, Oliver Mack who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as the third pick in the second round of the 1979 NBA Draft, George Maynor, who was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the sixth pick in the fourth round of the 1979 NBA Draft, and Charles Alford, who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as the ninth pick in the tenth round of the 1968 NBA Draft.