This week, as they do every year, ESPN is hosting Jimmy V Week across all of its networks in an effort to raise money for cancer research. This is a particularly big year, however, as it marks the 20 year anniversary of Jimmy Valvano's iconic speech that serves as the theme for this event. I assume most of you have seen parts of the speech and know the general story but given that it is such a big anniversary and that the speech itself has lost none of its power (and given that I'm very busy this week and haven't had much time to write anything else), I thought it fitting that it find a place here this week. I can't tell you how many times I've seen this thing and it still wrecks me every time. Give it a watch and consider donating to the V Foundation if you can.
A little background for anyone who doesn't know: Valvano was a very popular, very successful college basketball coach in the 70s and 80s and won the title in 1983 at NC State. He was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1992 and dedicated the remainder of his life to cancer research. The speech below was delivered at the 1993 ESPY Awards where he received the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award. Despite how great and dynamic he looks on camera, those in attendance that night didn't believe he would ever make it to the stage and he died only a couple of months later. He was a great coach and an even greater man.