Jim Valvano voted into Basketball Hall of Fame

The legendary NC State coach will be posthumously enshrined in August

NC State coach Jim Valvano celebrates after the Wolfpack’s upset victory over Houston in the 1983 NCAA Tournament championship game. Valvano was voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and will be posthumously inducted in August. (AP Photo)

After a long wait, Jim Valvano will finally take his rightful place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the 2023 class.

The legendary NC State head coach is best remembered for leading the Wolfpack to its improbable second and most recent national championship in 1983 when he coined the phrase ‘Survive and Advance,’ and his public battle with cancer and impact on fundraising research to battle the disease.


Valvano began his basketball career as a point guard at Rutgers and following his graduation joined the staff as an assistant coach.

The Queens, New York, native had stints with Johns Hopkins, UConn, Bucknell and Iona before coming to Raleigh where he led the Wolfpack to two ACC championships and a stunning upset of Houston’s Phi Slama Jama team in the 1983 national championship game.

Valvano transitioned to successful broadcaster following his coaching days, working for ESPN and ABC while often paired alongside another Hall of Famer, Dick Vitale. Valvano even won a Cable ACE Award for his work in broadcasting in 1992.

But perhaps Valvano’s greatest legacy is the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which he founded alongside ESPN during his battle with metastatic cancer.

Since its formation, the V Foundation has awarded more than $310 million in cancer research grants and continues to work today to find a cure.

“Throughout his coaching career, Jim embodied the spirit he spoke of at the ESPYS, ‘Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!’” said V Foundation CEO Shane Jacobson in a statement posted to the V Foundation’s website. “We at the V Foundation are thrilled to see him recognized for his accomplishments and spirit of determination on the court and know that continues to inspire our community in working to achieve Victory Over Cancer.”

Valvano was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in 1992 and carried himself with dignity and strength throughout his battle until his death in 1994.

Those traits are best remembered from two speeches he gave. The first was during the 10-year commemoration of the 1983 championship at Reynolds Coliseum where his famous quote, ‘Don’t give up, don’t ever give up,’ was first stated. The second came 11 days later at the ESPY Awards when, after being awarded the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award, Valvano announced the formation of the V Foundation and implored everyone to take time every day to laugh, to think and to cry.

Along with Valvano, the 2023 Hall of Fame class includes former players Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol and Dwyane Wade, who have a combined 10 NBA championships between them; the NBA’s all-time winningest coach, Gregg Popovich; six-time WNBA All-Star and coaching trailblazer Becky Hammon; six-time NCAA Coach of the Year Gene Keady; 2011 national champion Gary Blair; two-time D3 National Champion David Hixon; all-time winningest college coach Gene Bess; and the 1976 U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team who were silver medalists in the inaugural appearance for women’s Olympic basketball.

Valvano will be the fourth NC State member inducted into the Hall, joining David Thompson (1996), Everett Case (1982) and Kay Yow (2002).