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NC State honoring Jim Valvano by adding his name to Reynolds Coliseum

Tour NC State’s renovated Reynolds Coliseum

VIDEO: The “Old Barn” got a $35 million facelift and NC State Wolfpack's hall of fame has a high-tech home in the renovated on-campus arena. Connie Rogers-Newcome, who played for the women's basketball team from 1978-82, toured the arena.
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VIDEO: The “Old Barn” got a $35 million facelift and NC State Wolfpack's hall of fame has a high-tech home in the renovated on-campus arena. Connie Rogers-Newcome, who played for the women's basketball team from 1978-82, toured the arena.

Reynolds Coliseum will have a new name when N.C. State’s basketball team returns there on December 5.

James T. Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum will be dedicated before the Wolfpack’s annual Heritage Game at its old on-campus home.

The school announced on Wednesday that it has received a $5 million pledge from a group of donors to name the arena at the recently renovated Reynolds Coliseum in honor of Valvano, who led the Wolfpack to the 1983 national title.

“That man loved N.C. State and he loved Reynolds Coliseum,” said Dereck Whittenburg, one of the stars of the 1983 team. “It’s a fitting tribute.”

In 10 seasons as N.C. State’s coach, from 1980 to 1990, Valvano led the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament seven times, highlighted by the incredible title run of ‘83.

The Wolfpack won the ACC title twice under Valvano (1983, 1987) before his forced departure, amid NCAA and academic improprieties, after the 1989-90 season.

Valvano came back to Reynolds in February 1993 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the national title. Valvano, in the late stages of his fight with cancer, delivered his famous “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up,” speech, which helped launch the V Foundation for cancer research.

Two months after his last visit to Reynolds, Valvano passed away. He was 47.

Valvano’s legacy

The naming honor at Reynolds is the latest step the school has taken to restore Valvano’s legacy and repair its relationship with his family.

In 2008, the V Foundation teamed up with N.C. State and awarded $1 million to establish the Jimmy V-N.C. State Cancer Therapeutics Training Program.

More recently, the foundation has joined in the collaboration between N.C. State’s Veterinary School and the Duke Cancer Institute in its Canine Comparative Oncology project The V Foundation has provided more than $700,000 to support research that compares human and canine cancers.

Each college basketball season, ESPN has “Jimmy V Week” to help raise money for cancer research. The V Foundation has awarded more than $225 million in cancer research grants.

The ceremony at Reynolds Coliseum on December 5, before N.C. State’s game with Western Carolina, will be the last day of “Jimmy V week.”

“Not many coaches have a whole week dedicated to their charity,” said Whittenburg, who works in the N.C. State athletic department and serves on the V Foundation board directors.

And not many coaches have their name on their old building. Now Valvano has both.

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