The score was 52-52 with 7 seconds to go.
The 1983 NCAA Men’s Basketball championship game pitted the heavily favorited Houston Cougars against Coach Jim Valvano’s North Carolina (NC) State Wolfpack.
The sixth-seeded Wolfpack were never supposed to make it this far. No one with any basketball sense gave them the slightest chance of beating Houston and its future Hall of Fame center Akeem Olajuwon.
But with the score tied and 3 seconds remaining in the game, NC State’s Dereck Whittenburg heaved up a prayer from 30 feet away. To win the game …
At just the right place at just the right time, Lorenzo Charles caught his teammate’s airball in mid-air and dunked it home with no time left on the clock.
NC State had done the unthinkable, becoming the most improbable champions in NCAA history.
But what happened next is one of the most unforgettable moments in basketball history …
Coach Valvano, in a state of seeming disbelief, is caught on television running up and down the court looking for someone to hug.
Even if you’re no fan of basketball, you’ve probably heard of Coach Valvano. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, his nickname Jimmy V, as in The V Foundation for Cancer Research, may ring a bell.
Just 8 weeks prior to his death from bone cancer, Coach Valvano left us with another indelible moment in sports history when he delivered his “Don’t Give Up … Don’t Ever Give Up” speech at the 1993 ESPY awards.
A couple Sundays ago, I had spent the entire day looking for QOD clips. Fairly spent and ready to call it a night, I stumbled upon a motivational speech by Coach Valvano on my Nightingale Conant Insiders app. (More info about this app tomorrow.) I figured I would listen to the first 10 minutes and finish it in the morning.
I was wrong about that.
Before I knew it, I was in bed clapping it up, pumping my fists, and laughing up a storm as I listened to Jimmy V tell some of the best stories I’d ever heard.
The man had CONTAGIOUS ENTHUSIASM. So much that I was wide awake at midnight, ready to take over the world. Or cut down the nets, as he would say.
A few weeks ago, Jim Rohn reminded us that everyone needs a personal philosophy to live by. In today’s Quote of the Day clip, Coach Valvano shares the philosophy he learned and adopted when he was 16 years old. The one that made him a champion in so many ways.
“Every single day, in every walk of life, ordinary people do extraordinary things!”
Today’s clip is from the audio program Secrets of Superachievers available for mp3 download on the Nightingale Conant website.
Learn more about The V Foundation for Cancer Research at:
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