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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers’ College Avenue Gymnasium basketball court was named for former men’s basketball co-captain and assistant coach Jim Valvano in a dedication ceremony on April 29.
Valvano’s signature now adorns the hardwood where he once played, along with the court’s new name: “Jimmy V. Court.”
Valvano was a point guard for Rutgers, helping the Scarlet Knights to a third-place finish in the 1967 NIT.
Back then, the team played in the 3,200-seat, 1930’s-era gym, known as “The Barn.” Since 1977, they have had access to a much larger arena on the school’s Livingston campus in Piscataway.
Valvano scored 1,122 points in his college career. After graduating, he worked as a Rutgers assistant coach for three seasons.
He moved on to find success as the head coach at North Carolina State, where Valvano won the 1983 NCAA championship.
His sixth-seeded Wolfpack upset #1 Houston in the title game, 54-52. Valvano coached at North Carolina State for 10 seasons, from 1980 to 1990.
Valvano was inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Fame in 1993, the same year that he gave a famous, inspirational speech before passing away.
While battling cancer, Valvano received an “ESPY” award from the television network ESPN, and he used his acceptance speech to tell those watching, “Don’t ever give up.”
Valvano and ESPN founded the V Foundation for Cancer Research that year as well, and Valvano died in 1993 at age 47.
The foundation, based in Atlanta, has awarded over $170 million in cancer research grants, according to their website.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.