The lights were bright in Madison Square Garden. Great basketball was played as Washington squared off with Marquette and Villanova squared off with Missouri in the Jimmy V Classic. The games were exciting. Plenty of scoring and great basketball. But above all, these games were created for something bigger and greater than the game of basketball.
Jimmy Valvano was a charismatic, exciting coach who enjoyed everyday of life. He led NC State to an improbable championship in the 80's and was one of the most loved guys in the coaching profession. Jimmy V got the diagnosis of cancer and to most in that time, they would have wilted. But not Jimmy V. Jimmy fought and fought and fought cancer until he eventually passed away.
But before Jimmy V passed away, he said some great words. At the 1993 ESPN ESPY Awards show, he said, "Don't give up. Don't ever give up." Valvano lived this and breathed this everyday. He created the Jimmy V Foundation to help raise money for people that were stricken with this disease. He used his illness as an inspiration instead of a death sentence. Plenty of people can take a look at these words and the way this man lived and take inspiration. In life, a little rain must fall, but in the end sunshine will come again.
Most everyone has either been affected by cancer, known someone that's had cancer or lost someone to cancer. In this day and age, let's fight back. Let's raise money for cancer. Let's never give up. Don't ever give up. Everyone, please take some time to see what all you can do to make positive change and help bring more funds for research. If everyone takes some time to contribute, we can make a difference. Jimmy, your message still lives on and we will not stop fighting.