Twenty-one years ago, a non-intimidating North Carolina State team entered the NCAA Basketball tournament, led by their coach, Jimmy Valvano. Despite ten losses that season, “Jimmy V” did not lose hope in his team, even though they had a struggling 8-6 conference record and lost a total of 33 games in three years. Coming in as a sixth seed in the West Region, they upset #3 UNLV and #1 Virginia, both by one point.
Then, the unthinkable happened. They made it to the championship game, playing Midwest Region #1 and tournament finalist Houston – nicknamed “Phi Slamma Jamma” due to their NCAA dominance in 1983 (undefeated in their conference during regular season) – led by future NBA legends Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. The predictions were so lopsided, and N.C. State basically got an initial pat on the back for making it that far. However, that was not enough for Jimmy V’s squad.
Somehow, N.C. State persevered past all the doubt, and kept the game tied against the Cougars with seconds left in the game after a late rally. Lorenzo Charles catches an airball, tosses it in the hoop, and creates history. N.C. State believed. N.C. State achieved. 1983 NCAA National Champions.
Ten years later, Jimmy V unfortunately passes away due to cancer. Even knowing that his days were limited on the earth, he touts these words that will resonate throughout sports history: “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”
If your present does not line up with your desired future, don’t give up. If you have failed at pursuing that dream, don’t give up. If that idea was not attractive to a particular market, don’t give up. If the investors said no, don’t give up. If the cares of this world has clouded your dreams, don’t give up. If you have gotten older, and feel that all hope is lost, don’t give up. If you believe it, you can achieve it. No matter what the nay-sayers think.
Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.