In the spirit of March Madness and my continued fascination with what makes great coaches great, you cant help but think of the former college basketball Jimmy Valvano. Jimmy ’s own personal spirit, drive, and determination carried him through his brief but illustrious life.
From a determined little boy following his dreams of becoming a college basketball player, a basketball coach, and then to a victorious leader who carried out his life goal by winning the 1983 NCAA Basketball National Championship. Jimmy never gave up on the dreams he set for himself.
Notably, his final triumph came toward the end of his incredible life when he announced the formation of The Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. After being diagnosed with terminal bone cancer at the young age of 46, Jimmy dreamed of finding cures for cancer. Passionate and committed, he wanted to see his fight through to victory.
The Jimmy V Foundation was established to carry out Jim’s final, unmet dream—to defeat cancer. Jimmy died a few months after giving this incredible speech. His famous words, “Don’t give up…don’t ever give up,” are encouragement for those battling cancer and for those who want to help in the fight against this terrible disease. Cancer has touched my family in many ways and I continue to be moved by this incredible man and his continuing dream.