Cary, NC (April 1, 2023) – Legendary NCAA men’s basketball coach, ESPN announcer and founder of the V Foundation for Cancer Research Jim Valvano, was named to the 2023 Class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The full Hall of Fame class was announced during the NCAA Final Four on April 1 in Houston, Texas. The 2023 class will be officially enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts, August 11-12.
Valvano graduated from Rutgers College in 1967 before launching a 19-year men’s college basketball coaching career. He began his career at Johns Hopkins for the 1969-70 season, leading the Blue Jays to their first winning season (10-9) in 24 years. Following Johns Hopkins, Valvano held head coaching positions at Bucknell (1972-75), Iona (1975-80) and North Carolina State (1980-90). Valvano-led teams reached the NCAA Tournament on nine occasions. In 1983, NC State won the NCAA Division I National Championship, defeating Houston, 54-52, for the program’s second national title. Valvano finished his head coaching career with a record of 346-210. After he retired from coaching, Jim acted as a broadcaster for ESPN and ABC Sports, as well as a reporter for the World League of American Football during its first season. Valvano won a Cable ACE Award in 1992 for being a Commentator/Analyst for NCAA basketball broadcasts.
The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Springfield, Massachusetts, is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Named after the founder of basketball, James Naismith, the organization was founded in 1959 and is dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level. Valvano was nominated through the Direct-Elect Category: Contributor Nominations.
After being diagnosed with cancer in 1992, Valvano and ESPN announced the establishment of the V Foundation for Cancer Research in 1993. Valvano delivered a legendary speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards, in which he expressed the importance of cancer research. Jim recognized that investing in cancer research provides better outcomes for those faced with the disease in the future, and made cancer research the sole purpose of the V Foundation. He died of cancer a little more than a month after his speech.
“Throughout his coaching career, Jim embodied the spirit he spoke of at the ESPYS, ‘Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!’®” V Foundation CEO Shane Jacobson said. “We at the V Foundation are thrilled to see him recognized for his accomplishments and spirit of determination on the court and know that continues to inspire our community in working to achieve Victory Over Cancer®.”
Jim’s legacy continues to inspire. The V Foundation funds promising, innovative research of all cancer types through grants awarded to the 71 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in the US and other exceptional research institutions. Since being founded in 1993, the V Foundation has funded nearly 1,200 cancer research grants totaling over $310 million.
Valvano is the fourth member of the Naismith Hall of Fame with a connection to NC State. He joins David Thompson (Class of 1996), Everett N. Case (Class of 1982) and Kay Yow (Class of 2002).
“Jim’s tenacity and passion as a coach and as an ambassador for the game of basketball – and game of life – set a standard of excellence that we at the V Foundation embody to this day,” Evan Goldberg, Chair of the V Foundation Board of Directors, said. “It’s an honor to carry on his legacy through our work funding game-changing cancer research.”
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About the V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. The V Foundation has funded over $310 million in game-changing cancer research grants nationwide through a competitive process strictly supervised by a world-class Scientific Advisory Committee. Because the V Foundation has an endowment to cover administrative expenses, 100% of direct donations is awarded to cancer research and programs. The V team is committed to accelerating Victory Over Cancer®. To learn more, visit v.org.