“…Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up!,”- Jim Valvano
Those were Jimmy V’s words to the entire world as cancer was getting the best of him, back them.
There are more Coaches and Basketball Programs with a lot more wins and titles, but the true spirit of March Madness will always belong to Jimmy V and his 1983 North Carolina State Wolfpack.
“…How do you go from where you are to where you wanna be? I think you must have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. And you have to be willing to work for it,” – Jim Valvano
The Wolfpack had no chance to get in the 1983 NCAA Tournament unless they won the ACC Tournament outright, which would earn North Carolina State an automatic bid to March Madness, so they did.
What would happen next, is the stuff which dreams are made of.
Within a month’s time, after a magical stretch run, a video clip showing Valvano running up and down the court after winning the 1983 NCAA championship, seemingly in disbelief and looking for someone to hug, made him the Avatar of March Madness.
“…Now I’m fighting cancer, everybody knows that. People ask me all the time about how you go through your life and how’s your day, and nothing is changed for me,” – Jim Valvano – “…Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul,”.
The tournament, like its’ Avatar, has become a symbol of courage and love for the game.
Folks love an Underdog and starting Tuesday, March Madness will bring one front and center for all of us to cheer…On your marks, get set…GO!!!