Dec 2, 2012

What is Jimmy V Week?

This year will mark the sixth time Jimmy V Week will be held across the various ESPN avenues in hope of raising money for cancer research. During the first five years of the program, it has raised nearly $5 million, including more than $1.2 million in 2010 and $1.3 million in 2011, setting a new record.

The festivities began on Nov. 27 with the infamous speech Jimmy Valvano gave when he was the first recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the 1993 ESPY Awards. The speech will be shown throughout the week before the event concludes with the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 4 featuring Texas, Georgetown, NC State and Connecticut at Madison Square Garden.
In 2011, the 10th annual women's showdown featured the NCAA Champion Texas A&M against the University of Connecticut at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. The Huskies easily dispatched the Aggies by 30 points, 81-51. In the 17th annual men's double header at MSG in New York City, Missouri defeated Villanova 81-71, while Marquette and Washington battled in a great contest that went down to the wire, with Marquette winning 79-77.
Valvano was a legend in the sport of college basketball before being diagnosed with bone cancer in June 1992. During his time as a coach in Division I, he had a record of 346-210 with one National Championship and nine tournament appearances.
Among the many things that Valvano will be remembered for is his infamous ESPY Award speech in 1993, just weeks before succumbing to cancer. He was also the owner of one of the most famous scenes from a college championship, when he went running across the basketball court in 1983 looking for someone to hug after his NC State Wolfpack defeated the University of Houston.
The Jimmy V Foundation has helped raise more than $90 million to help follow Valvano's dream of never giving up. Among the programs the foundation offers is the V Scholar award. This award is heavily sought after by young physician/scientists at the leading cancer centers in the nation.

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Hobson Lopes can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.