NC State wore special uniforms during Tuesday’s game against UConn at the Jimmy V Classic that paid tribute to former Wolfpack head coach Jim Valvano.
The red jerseys were designed with nets around the collar and shoulders, meant to represent the way Valvano wore the winning net around his neck after his 1983 Wolfpack won the national championship by defeating Houston’s Phi Slama Jama team featuring Hakeem Olajuwon (then Akeem) and Clyde Drexler.
The back of each jersey featured Valvano’s memorable saying, “Don’t Ever Give Up.” Valvano first said those words during a speech on Feb. 21, 1993, prior to NC State’s game with Duke at Reynolds Coliseum. The speech was part of a celebration for the 10-year commemoration of the ’83 squad.
Valvano announced during a speech at the 1993 ESPYs that “Don’t give up … don’t ever give up” would be the motto for his charity designed to raise money for cancer research. The V Foundation logo was seen on the front of all the NC State jerseys.
Valvano delivered his moving speech at the ESPYs just eight weeks before he died of cancer: