25 years ago this week, an ailing Jim Valvano returned to NC State’s Reynolds Coliseum

Feb 23, 2018 1858


Every seat in Reynolds Coliseum was filled an hour before game time. The attraction was more than the advertised 10th anniversary celebration of the 1983 NCAA championship, more than the contest that followed against Duke. Fans and professional onlookers came to see the color analyst for the ABC telecast, the restless architect of that ’83 title, the man who’d been run off the N.C. State campus amidst a cloud of scandal, acrimony and ambiguity.

They’d come to see Jim Valvano. It was public knowledge the ex-coach, gone from State for three years, had bone cancer. And while no one knew his fate that afternoon 25 years ago Wednesday, Valvano’s future appeared grim, a truth underlined by his pale skin and pained gait. The young upstart who arrived in the Triangle in 1980 alongside Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and largely matched him competitive step for step, who glibly vowed to beat North Carolina’s Dean Smith by outliving him, was only 46 but looked spent, life’s candle burnt to a nub. He would be dead two months later.

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SOURCE: http://www.heraldsun.com/

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