It could not have gone any other way.
If North Carolina State was going to open up a Hall of Fame, Jim Valvano had to be in the inaugural class. Anything else would have been an outrage.
Valvano is, indeed, headlining the group going into the newly-minted N.C. State Athletics Hall of Fame on October 5. The ceremony will take place at Reynolds Coliseum, a place once known as “Jim’s Gym.”
The list of inductees is basketball-heavy, with legendary former Wolfpack head coach Everett Case and superstar player David Thompson taking their rightful places alongside women’s coach Kay Yow and player Genia Beasley.
The Charlotte Observer was able to get some good reaction quotes from Valvano’s older brother, Nick:
“He would have been incredibly honored, but he would not have been speechless,” said Nick Valvano, Jim’s older brother.
“A big honor for Jim is to hear other coaches talk about the kind of bench coach he was, how well-prepared he was,” Nick Valvano said. “If you’re a coach it’s certainly about the wins and losses. But it’s also about how your players mature as people and the lives they lead.
“Look at Jim’s players. By and large, they turned out well, didn’t they?”
Quite aside from being a charismatic man and a great basketball coach, Valvano’s legacy has grown since his death from cancer. The Jimmy V-NC State Cancer Therapeutics Training Program was created in Raleigh in 2008, and the Jimmy V foundation annually raises millions for cancer research and awareness.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.
Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.
A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.