Sitting Courtside
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
  The Jimmy V Foundation

In case you live in a hole and didn't watch basketball last night, or you were so put off by the first 5 minutes of the Pittsburgh-Memphis game that you didn't stick around or pay attention, last night was the Jimmy V Classic.

I wouldn't normally make this plea, because I am not a big charity drive type of guy. Don't take that the wrong way. I give to a few charities which mean something to me and if someone I knew asked me to contribute, I would definitely put some money forward. I just don't like hitting people up for money. The only time I have was for my first 5K run which was sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation. I asked for money for the charity, but the idea was to support the fact that I had made some major changes in my life to get to that point.

Each year, ESPN puts on the Jimmy V Classic. For those that don't know, Jim Valvano was the coach of North Carolina State back in the 1980s. He was a great friend of a lot of the broadcasters on ESPN and he was a fun coach to watch. He was very animated on the sidelines and when he stopped coaching, he was very animated when he called games. If you have ever watched college basketball, you can't help but remember seeing him run wildly around the court after his team won the National Championship, in 1983, as he looked for someone to hug.

Jimmy V lost his life less than 10 years after that to cancer. During the last few years of his life, he dedicated himself to raising money for cancer research, not to save himself, but to help those that came after him. The Jimmy V foundation was set up to do just that. When he announced the formation of the Foundation, he was accepting the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the 1993 ESPY awards. This is probably my favorite speech of all time, at any event, anywhere, and you can read it at the Jimmy V foundation website.

It is rare that there is a charity where 100% of everything you contribute goes to research and the Jimmy V Foundation is about the closest thing you will find. A lot of people I know have been touched by cancer. Some have fought and won, others have fought and lost. I hope for a day when we can eliminate the second group and everyone fights and wins.

It is the Holiday Season and many of us are busy spending on gifts for our loved ones so there is probably not a lot of extra money to go around. If there is, please consider giving some to the Jimmy V Foundation. I gave mine last night.

You can link here to their site. Please do what you can to help this fight.
 
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Sitting Courtside is a series of articles and observations based on the world of college basketball. On The Field will appear regularly on MRISports.com.

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Name:Ben Miraski
Location:Chicago, Illinois, United States
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Defending the MRI #2
Revenge of the Mid-Majors
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Delay in the Ratings
Basketball as Life
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Communism is Upsetting
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