|Birth Day:||March 10, 1946|
|Death Date:||Apr 28, 1993 (age 47)|
|Birth Place:||New York City, United States|
As per our current Database, Jim Valvano died on Apr 28, 1993 (age 47).
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He played college basketball at Rutgers University, starting at point guard from 1964 to 1967.
Valvano was the middle child of Rocco and Angelina Valvano, and was born in Corona, Queens, New York. Valvano was a three-sport athlete at Seaford High School in Seaford on Long Island and graduated in 1963.
Valvano was a point guard at Rutgers University in 1967, where he partnered with first-team All-American Bob Lloyd in the backcourt. Under the leadership of Valvano and Lloyd, Rutgers finished third in the 1967 National Invitation Tournament (NIT), which was the last basketball tournament held at the third Madison Square Garden. (The 1967 NCAA Tournament field was just 23 teams and the NIT invited 14 teams.) He was named Senior Athlete of the Year at Rutgers in 1967, and graduated with a degree in English in 1967.
Following graduation, Valvano began his coaching career at Rutgers as the freshman coach and assistant for the varsity. His 19-year career as a head basketball coach began at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore for a season; he was then an assistant at Connecticut for two years. Following that, he was the head coach at Bucknell, Iona, and North Carolina State. Following Norm Sloan's departure to Florida, Valvano was hired at NC State on March 27, 1980, and made his debut on November 29, when the Wolfpack defeated UNC-Wilmington 83-59. During his ten seasons at NC State, Valvano's teams were the ACC's tournament champions in 1983 and 1987 and its regular season champions in 1985 and 1989. The Wolfpack won the NCAA championship in 1983, in addition to advancing to the NCAA Elite 8 in 1985 and 1986. "Coach V" was voted ACC Coach of the Year in 1989. Valvano became NC State's athletic director in 1986. His overall record at NC State was 209–114 (.647) and his career record as a head coach was 346–210 (.622).
Valvano is most recognized for his reaction of running around on the court looking for somebody to hug in the moments after the Wolfpack victory came after the game-winning shot in the 1983 NCAA finals. Dereck Whittenburg heaved a last-second desperation shot that was caught short of the rim and dunked by Lorenzo Charles as time expired.
Lorenzo Charles, the player who dunked the winning basket in the 1983 NCAA championship game, died in a crash while driving a bus on June 27, 2011, and was buried near Valvano in Oakwood Cemetery. Coincidentally, Valvano and Charles were both 47 when they died.
In 1983, Valvano coined the term "Survive and Advance." A 1996 TV movie titled Never Give Up: The Jimmy V Story, starred Anthony LaPaglia as Valvano. The movie was filmed in various locations including Wilmington, North Carolina, and on the campus of the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
In 1989, accusations of rules violations surfaced in the book Personal Fouls by Peter Golenbock. These accusations centered mostly on high school All-American Chris Washburn, who managed only a 470 out of 1600 on his SAT (with 400 being the starting score). A 1989 NCAA investigation cleared Valvano, but found that players sold shoes and game tickets. As a result, NC State placed its basketball program on probation for two years (the maximum) and was banned from participating in the 1990 NCAA tournament. The state-appointed Poole Commission issued a 32-page report that concluded that there were no major violations of NCAA regulations, and that Valvano and his staff's inadequate oversight of players' academic progress violated "the spirit, not the letter of the law".
After this report, Valvano was forced to resign as the school's athletic director in October 1989. He remained as basketball coach through the 1989–90 season. Under subsequent pressure from the school's faculty and new Chancellor, Valvano negotiated a settlement with NC State and resigned as basketball coach on April 7, 1990. Six separate entities investigated Valvano and the NC State basketball program including the NC State Faculty Senate, the North Carolina Attorney General, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, the NC State Board of Trustees, and the NCAA. None of them found any evidence of recruiting violations or academic or financial impropriety on the part of Valvano or his staff. Dave Didion, the NCAA investigator handling Valvano's case, wrote a personal letter to Valvano, saying, among other things, "If I had a son, I would feel comfortable with you as his coach and encourage him to learn from you." A school investigation did reveal that Valvano's student-athletes did not perform well in the classroom, as only 11 of the players that he coached prior to 1988 had maintained an average of C or better.
Valvano's version of these events can be found in his 1991 autobiography, Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead.
After his coaching career, Valvano was a broadcaster for ESPN and ABC Sports, including a stint as a sideline reporter for the inaugural season of the World League of American Football. In 1992, Valvano won a Cable ACE Award for Commentator/Analyst for NCAA basketball broadcasts. From time to time he was paired with basketball analyst Dick Vitale, dubbed the "Killer Vees", with similar voices and exuberant styles. The two even made a cameo appearance, playing the role of professional movers (V&V Movers), on an episode of The Cosby Show.
In June 1992, Valvano was diagnosed with metastatic adenocarcinoma, a type of glandular cancer that can spread to the bones.
Football coach Vince Lombardi was Valvano's role model. Valvano told an ESPY audience, on March 3, 1993, that he took some of Lombardi's inspirational speeches out of the book Commitment to Excellence, and used them with his team. Valvano discussed how he planned to use Lombardi's speech to the Green Bay Packers in front of his Rutgers freshman basketball team prior to his first game as their coach. He also mentioned that he accidentally told his team to "fight for the Green Bay Packers."
Valvano died at age 47 on April 28, 1993, less than two months after his famous ESPY speech, following a nearly yearlong battle with metastatic cancer. Valvano died at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, 10 years to the month after winning the national championship in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament. He is buried in the Cedar Hill Section of Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh. His tombstone reads: "Take time every day to laugh, to think, to cry."
In 1993, Valvano was inducted into the Rutgers Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1999, Valvano was inducted into both the Hall of Distinguished Alumni at Rutgers University and the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2004, Valvano was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was named to the first class of the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame.
On March 17, 2013, ESPN broadcast "Survive and Advance," a documentary on North Carolina State's 1983 championship run, as part of its 30 for 30 Volume II anthology series. Along with the 1983 season, it also covered the final months of his life during his battle with cancer. The documentary was first broadcast on the 30th anniversary of the Wolfpack's double overtime victory against Pepperdine in the first round of the 1983 NCAA tournament.
On March 1, 2016, a book by John Feinstein titled The Legends Club: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an Epic College Basketball Rivalry was released to critical reviews. Krzyzewski arrived at Duke the same season as Valvano did at North Carolina State.
Currently, Jim Valvano is 76 years, 2 months and 13 days old. Jim Valvano will celebrate 77th birthday on a Friday 10th of March 2023.
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