Hall of Fame Person. Hall of Fame Career. Hall of Fame Legacy.

Jim Valvano, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer

On Saturday, August 12, Jim Valvano was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Mecca of the sport of basketball. His legacy as a player, coach, commentator, and contributor to the sport will live on for eternity beside his peers, the game’s greatest of all time.

Jim was part of an excellent class entering the Hall in 2023, joining Dwyane Wade, Tony Parker, Gregg Popovic, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Gene Keady, David Hixon, Gene Bess, Becky Hammon, Gary Blair and the 1976 US Women’s Olympic Team.  This incredible honor was presented to his family and moved many in the world of basketball.

Jim Valvano, Hall of Famer

Hall of Fame Person

Jim is often remembered for his infectious smile and fast-talking capabilities. He was an entertainer. He was quick to make a joke and enjoyed laughter. He cared for others and believed in them. This personality created a unique bond between Jim and everyone he met, but especially the players he coached. Their relationship is easy to remember.

Jim Valvano and Dick Vitale - ESPN headshot by Rick LaBranch

Hall of Fame Career

An accomplished basketball player at Rutgers University, where his long basketball career began. After graduating from Rutgers, Jim’s coaching career began as he served as an assistant coach at Rutgers from 1967-69. His head coaching career began at Johns Hopkins (1969-70), before stops at Bucknell (1972-75) and Iona (1975-80).

From 1980-90, Jim served as the head basketball coach at NC State. During this stint, Jim led the Wolfpack to two ACC tournament titles (1983, 1987) and two regular season championships (1985, 1989) and was named ACC Coach of the Year in 1989. Jim’s success is most known for the 1982-83 season, when the ‘Cardiac Pack’ survived and advanced to the NCAA National Championship, upsetting Houston to win the national title.

Throughout his career, his overall record was 346-210 (.622), including a 209-114 mark at NC State (.647).

After coaching, Jim was a broadcaster for ESPN and ABC. In 1992, Jim won a Cable ACE Award for his work in NCAA basketball broadcasts. He was frequently paired with friend and V Foundation board member Dick Vitale.

Jim Valvano at the 1993 ESPY awards

Hall of Fame Legacy

Diagnosed with cancer in 1992, Jim was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the inaugural ESPYS Awards Show in 1993. In the final months of his life, Jim summoned the stamina to deliver a legendary speech at the ESPYS and announced the creation of the V Foundation for Cancer Research. He assembled a team and used moments from his personal battle with cancer to outline the mission of the V Foundation. His speech, and mantra of “Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”® continues to be a source of inspiration for many faced with cancer.

Since that day, the V Foundation has funded over $310 million in cancer research grants. The V Foundation sponsors all types of cancer research at the 72 NCI-designated cancer research facilities across the country. Progress has been made since Jim’s battle in 1993, but there is much more to be done.

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