Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has published a letter honoring the late N.C. State basketball coach Jim Valvano in advance of the Blue Devils’ appearance at the Jimmy V Classic Tuesday night.
A letter and a video tribute from Krzyzewski were published on the website Dear World Monday night.
Duke plays Florida at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic, which is held to raise money for cancer research. Valvano died of cancer in 1993 at age 47.
A text of Krzyzewski’s letter:
You and I became brothers during the last four or five months of your life. You knew that you were dying of cancer. You were in Duke Hospital and we spent a few nights every week together.
We had many moments.
The very best moment though was when you said,
“I’m gonna die, but I’m gonna win.”
I asked you, “What do you mean?”
And you said, “I want to beat cancer. After I die, when we’ve finally beat cancer I want to be there.”
I was with you when you died. And I never looked at our relationship as having a last moment. I always looked forward to the next moment.
I don’t remember the last thing I said to you, Jimmy.
And the reason I don’t is because I thought you would live forever.
Love your friend,