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Photo of Jim Valvano

Jim Valvano

On March 4, 1993, Jim Valvano walked on stage at the ESPY Awards to deliver the world his greatest moment yet. Valvano – the smart-looking, fast-talking, animated impresario of the hardwood – captivated the audience that night as words of humor, love, and joy poured out of his cancer-ridden body. A decade before this unforgettable moment, Jimmy V led the North Carolina State Wolfpack on an improbable and just as unforgettable run in the 1983 NCAA Tournament. Valvano’s Cardiac Kids swept through the ACC tournament and then won six more in a row, surviving and advancing all the way to the national championship. NC State pulled off the impossible. A natural leader, Valvano understood the game, understood how to motivate players, and understood that the term underdog was littler more than a misnomer for a group of kids he loved so dearly. Jim Valvano’s basketball life passed by in the blink of an eye, but his impact on the world is still being written. The V Foundation for Cancer Research has raised over $300 million in its mission to find Victory Over Cancer.




March 10, 1946 Queens, NY


April 28, 1993

Contributor Stats

1983 NCAA National Championship
1989 ACC Coach of the Year
1993 Arthur Ashe Award for Courage