I can’t believe it’s been 17 years since Jimmy Valvano passed away. 17 years. The footage from Jimmy V and his NC State Wolfpack winning the National Championship is still one of my favorites to watch. To see that last second shot, the hesitant, careful dunk. Then Coach Valvano running all over the court as if searching for someone, anyone to tell him this dream was reality. Jimmy V and his team wrote the ultimate Cinderella story, a term used too frequently these days, too cliché. For me, the glass slipper will always belong to the Wolfpack.
And I remember Coach V’s speech at the 1993 ESPYs. I remember crying, smiling, laughing, and crying again during his speech. And by the time Dick Vitale and Coach K assisted him from the stage, I knew I loved Jimmy V. Yes, I admired him as a coach. I adored that he looked like he could coach a basketball team and make a mean cannelloni ai carciofi. But I loved Jimmy V following his speech for three reasons: he made me laugh, he made me think, and he brought my emotions to tears.
We will never give up, Coach V. Not ever.
If you have 15 minutes, and who doesn’t, watch this video regarding Jimmy V Week, the V Foundation, and his amazing speech.