Dick Vitale – Remembering Jim Valvano Today, This Week and Every Day After

I’m thrilled to call the Iowa-Duke game Tuesday at the mecca of college basketball, Madison Square Garden. It is part of the Jimmy V Classic.

More than ever, after battling melanoma and lymphoma, undergoing chemotherapy, scans and blood tests, my heart goes out to all cancer patients. I know what they are going through. The messages and letters of support have been so vital in my recovery.

The Jimmy V Classic is always special, and having four ranked teams in action is exciting. Texas and Illinois will meet in Game 2. It will be fun to see Kris Murray, Tyrese Hunter, Derek Lively, Terrence Shannon and more in action.

It’s an important week at ESPN. The annual Jimmy V week raises funds to fight the dreaded disease of cancer. I ask from the bottom of my heart everyone to please donate if you can. You could help save someone you love.

The problem is that cancer never ends. We will not stop chasing the dream of eliminating cancer. I am currently cancer free, it does not stop. I still have to do scans, exams and blood tests. We need dollars, so please help me. You can go to or for help. 100% of donations go directly to cancer research.

It’s hard to believe Jim Valvano has been gone for nearly 30 years – the dreaded illness that took his premature life in May 1993. His legacy lives on as we battle cancer. And we have made progress.

The V Foundation has raised millions of dollars and it has helped, but there is still a long way to go. The grants have helped to cure many cancers and the progress is considerable.

Jimmy was such a special person. I can’t believe he’s been gone for so long. We must defeat this disease that affects so many lives.

I have heard so many stories of people whose families have been touched by cancer. The good news is the progress being made to improve this fight. There is still a long way to go.

Jimmy and I shared a passion for life. We both had such love for our families and had such a great time working together in the ESPN studio. I remember the laughs we had working during the tournament.

Some fans will watch Jimmy V’s legacy through basketball as his Wolfpack cut the net in Albuquerque as the national champion in one of the greatest upsets of all time. It was so memorable in 1983, ending with Lorenzo Charles’ winning basket, which lives on in the minds of fans who love Cinderella stories.

I believe his legacy lives on in this valiant battle against cancer. It’s quite a legacy to enjoy.

I vividly remember watching Jimmy give his incredible speech when he said “Don’t give up, never give up.” He was in so much pain that night, needed help getting up on stage and back down. Yet he was so amazing that night, and people will always remember his passion and emotion in such a difficult situation.

This speech was certainly a big part of his legacy. To this day, people still talk about that speech and his courage to deliver it. It was a legendary moment that will live forever.

I am so proud that the V Foundation for Cancer Research has raised millions and millions of dollars to fight this disease. I’m proud to be on a wonderful board that works so hard in this fight.

Understand that there is limited funding in pediatric cancer research, only four cents of every dollar goes to funding. This gives researchers a chance to find ways to beat this thing.

Great people like current V Foundation CEO Shane Jacobson, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Jimmy’s brother Nick Valvano, Bob Lloyd, Susan Braun, ESPN President Jimmy Pittaro, former President ESPN’s George Boddenheimer and others have been so diligent in working to raise money for this cause over the years.

People often ask me why I am so determined in the fight against cancer. I have five grandchildren and I can’t imagine how I would feel if they were sick. I’ve seen so many families affected by cancer and it just sucks.

I have seen how cancer affects people around cancer patients as well as those who suffer from the disease. I worked for the V Foundation trying to raise money for cancer research to get rid of this horrible disease. It affects so many people. Cancer doesn’t judge you, it just wreaks havoc on the families and friends of victims. That’s why I will beg and plead for help until my last breath.

It’s so heartbreaking to hear that another person has died of cancer. We have to eliminate it, and we have already done a lot. There is so much more to this fight.

I’ve had such fun with Jimmy over the years. We talked about basketball, life, our families. His loss had a profound impact on my life. That’s why V Week and ESPN’s efforts stand out.

I work year-round to raise funds through my Dickie V gala, with the goal of donating millions to the V Foundation for research grants. I’ve seen so many families affected by cancer and it stinks. My event is in Sarasota, Florida at the Ritz-Carlton next May.

I’m so proud of it because so many people are working so hard to make it a success. What always makes me proud is the fact that all the celebrities in attendance come at their own expense. They are not paid a penny and they are happy to be part of the evening. There’s not a dry eye in the house as we introduce our team of cancer survivors, children who fought bravely.

It’s so moving that we bring families who have been touched by cancer. There is not a dry eye in the house as they hear stories of people who have overcome the disease and are enjoying their lives. There are reflections on their struggle and how they are the big winners in the game of life.

Jimmy V’s legacy lives on in such a positive way. I know he is watching from above, so proud of what has been done in his name. I know he would be so proud of the Jimmy V Classic, caring so much about football, baby! Another year of the Classic in the books as we raise some valuable $$$.

We all miss you, love you and we will always remember you, Jimmy! I know you will look down on these two exciting games.

It’s the time of year when people help each other. The life you are helping to save could be that of a loved one.

The 18th Annual Dick Vitale Gala, benefiting the V Foundation, will be held on May 5, 2023 at The Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida. For more information, visit


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