Former Rocky Mount High School and North Carolina star Danny Talbott considers himself incredibly blessed. Talbott has the chance to experience each day, an opportunity he was not sure he would be granted after a 2010 diagnosis with multiple myeloma, which is cancer of the plasma in the blood cells.
Now finished with cancer treatment and in good health, Talbott, in conjunction with fellow Tar Heel and Rocky Mount native Phil Ford, is providing opportunities for children in the Twin Counties.
The fourth annual Phil Ford Golf Classic Gala Honoring Danny Talbott will be held on August 12 at Benvenue Country Club in Rocky Mount. The event benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Nash and Edgecombe Counties.
“Phil has done a super job of coming back and giving back to the community,” Talbott said of Ford, who was a three-time basketball All-American at UNC. “It’s a pleasure to be able to be involved with an event like this.”
Former Tar Heel and current Indiana Pacer Tyler Hansbrough will guest speak at the event, which is open to the public. Other notables that are scheduled to attend include former Los Angeles Lakers forward James Worthy and former Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Tony Womack, according to a news release from the Boys & Girls Club.
Tickets are $100 per person or $150 per couple, and may be purchased by calling (252) 977-9924 or visiting bgnec.org/philfordclassic.
“It’s awesome that Rocky Mount has the opportunity to give these kids a place to go, a place to learn and grow,” Talbott said. “It’s wonderful that it’s being held here.
“It’s a matter of being able to give back and to help the young people that will become the backbone of our community in the years to come.”
Talbott, who is retired after 33 years of work in pharmaceutical sales for Ortho-McNeil, is being honored for his many athletic feats and being a community presence. As a Blackbird, Talbott was the linchpin of four consecutive North Carolina State Championships in three different sports — 1962 football, 1962 basketball, 1962 baseball and 1963 football.
He played quarterback on the football team and first base on the baseball team for the Tar Heels, earning First Team All-ACC honors in both sports. He played one season of minor league baseball in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization, then spent three years backing up Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgenson for Vince Lombardi’s Washington Redskins.
Talbott still resides in Rocky Mount, where he lives with his wife, Myrlene. He said his health has been great.
“I’m doing well,” Talbott said. “The doctors harvested my own stem cells and used them for my treatment, and I’m thankful to the Good Lord that I have a chance to keep going.”
According to the American Cancer Society, 35 percent of those diagnosed with multiple myeloma have a five-year survival rate. But Talbott, who will turn 67 in November, said his doctors’ prognosis for him is positive.
“They say everything looks good,” Talbott said. “I have another 10 to 12 years, maybe even more.”
Talbott said he was thankful to be able to participate in events like Ford’s, who followed his path from Rocky Mount to Chapel Hill.
“I know Phil was certainly after me,” Talbott said, laughing, “And I’d like to think I was as good as he was.”
Nick Piotrowicz can be reached at 407-9952 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.