They were known as the “Cardiac Pack.” The 1982-83 North Carolina State men’s basketball team thrilled fans by winning one upset after another. It was a run that took the Wolfpack all the way to a national title. Many would say that the true heart of the “Cardiac Pack” was its fiery coach, the late Jim Valvano.
After leaving NC State in 1990, Jim Valvano became an award-winning sportscaster. Sadly, his life was cut short by metastatic adenocarcinoma, a type of glandular cancer that can spread to the bones. Valvano died in 1993 at the age of 47. Less than two months before his passing, Valvano made his memorable “Don’t Ever Give Up” speech and announced the formation of the V Foundation for Cancer Research at the 1993 ESPY Awards.
Jimmy V’s legacy continues to inspire people everywhere, and now his story is being brought to the screen. ESPN reports that Ray Romano will be setting comedy to the side to play the role of the legendary coach in a new biopic. Romano will also direct and serve as a producer on the project, with the assistance of the Valvano family.
If you’ve never seen or heard Jim Valvano’s speech from the ESPYs, it’s posted below. Even if you are familiar with it, Jimmy V’s words are worth revisiting.