On this day in 1993, beloved North Carolina State basketball coach James Thomas Anthony Valvano died after a 10-month courageous battle with bone cancer. He was only 47 years old.
A great coach, natural recruiter, and motivator, in 10 seasons (1980-1990) he appeared in eight NCAA tournaments, including the miraculous 1983 championship.
"There are 86,400 seconds in a day. It's up to you to decide what to do with them," he once said.
Living fully, Valvano was twice voted ACC Coach of the Year and had a stellar career record of 346-212. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
"There was nothing that Jimmy was afraid to do," praised famed Notre Dame basketball coach Digger Phelps.
In his battle with cancer, despite suffering the debilitating effects, Jimmy V. never gave up.
"How do you go from where you are to where you want to be?" the charismatic Valvano once asked rhetorically. "I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. You have to be willing to work for it."
The V Foundation for cancer research is named for him and "empowers others with his winning spirit, carrying on the creed he lived by."
"We need money for research," Valvano believed. "It may not save my life. It may save my children's lives. It may save someone you love..."
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