As you know, this is a sports blog. Specifically, all things Rutgers. However, the world has been a crazier place than normal lately and it’s times like these that we should find things to remind us of what is truly important in life. One of our own is here again to do that for us.
Jim Valvano is a notable alumnus of Rutgers and with the annual ESPY Awards taking place today, I think it’s the perfect time to remember him. His acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 1993 is considered one of the best speeches of all-time. This article from the NY Daily News calls Valvano’s speech the best moment in the history of ESPN.
Aside from the historic announcement of forming the V Foundation for cancer research, which has raised over $150 million for research, his message was full of words of wisdom to live by. The idea of laughing, thinking, and crying each day is a simple one, but one that makes us uniquely human. It’s also a reminder of what is truly important for personal development in a world where technology and social media have taken over daily activities.
Of course, the idea that everyone should only focus on their family, religion, and Rutgers basketball is as intelligent an idea that I can think of as well. Valvano’s contributions on the court for Rutgers will never be forgotten.
Every year during this week, I make a point to re-watch the poignant speech of Jim Valvano. Take the 12 minutes and soak in what he has to say. And then call an old friend, your parents and loved ones, and remind them how much you care. Don’t sweat the small stuff, because we are all here for much too short of a time. 23 years later and Jimmy V is still reminding us about what is important in life, long after he lost his own.
What else could anyone ask for than to have your personal legacy continue to do a tremendous amount of good for so many people, long past your own life having ended. That’s the legacy of Jim Valvano. To a loyal son of Rutgers and true hero in the fight against cancer, we salute the one and only Jimmy V!