New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 29, 1993, New Braunfels, Texas
Thursday, April 29,1993
HerakJ-Ze/fc/ng, New Braunfels
Valvano loses battle against bone cancer
RALEIGH, N.C. — Almost every recollection of Jim Valvano contained a moment which left an impression hard to erase.
From the political circles of Washington to basketball courts nationwide, people were touched by the former North Carolina State coach.
Colleagues spoke of a fun-loving guy from New York who never stopped talking hoops and then dedicated the final months of his life to fighting what was cutting it short.
Valvano, who showed the same flair and wit on the way to a national championship as he did when he gave up his job amid a scandal, lost a 10-month fight with cancer Wednesday. Valvano was 47, and while most acknowledged they would miss him, others talked about his contributions to the game ... and life.
“He fought the good fight, the gallant fight against bone cancer, but I submit that he established himself as a profile in courage," said Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who took time on the Senate floor to tell the story of the 1983 national championship team that couldn’t get to Washington to visit President Reagan after its improbable
victory over a bigger and more-talented Houston.
NCAA rules at the time prevented a championship team from traveling more than IOO miles from its home campus, meaning the Wolfpack wouldn’t enjoy the privilege of others before them. Helms said Valvano knew of the rule and had a plan.
“They can rule against the team going down to Washington and sitting down with the President of the United States, but there is no rule, NCAA or otherwise, that says Jim Valvano has to stay in Raleigh," said Helms, recalling a conversation with the coach.
Valvano said he would not only visit the President, but would arrange a satellite link back to Raleigh as the team sat in a television studio. The link was established, but Reagan had to take care of last-minute protocol before the ceremony began.
“The President said ‘Is it Val-van-oh or Val-von-oh? I want to pronounce your name right,’" Helms said.
“It is Val-van-oh," the coach responded, “And by the way, Mr. President, is it Regan or Ray-gan?"
Six years after he became basketball coach at N.C. State, Valvano took on the additional role of athletic director. He held
both jobs until 1989, when his program was the focus of allegations of wrongdoing based on the book “Personal Fouls."
In 1987, Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner Gene Corrigan had let Valvano know how he felt about the dual jobs.
“I want you to know something from the very beginning. I do not believe you should have been both the athletic director and the basketball coach," Corrigan said of his conversation with Valvano. “That’s just a personal bias that I had.
“For the next half-hour, he regaled me on why he should have both jobs. When I left, I wasn't sure of my position."
There was one thing that Corrigan was sure of.
“He was the most unique person I think I’ve ever met," he said. “He’s certainly one of the brightest. He’s one of the most compelling personalities I’ve ever known."
Georgia Tech coach and fellow New Yorker Bobby Cremins recalled seeing Valvano back on the job as a basketball analyst for ESPN this season. As the season drew on, however, Valvano’s illness kept him from making assignments.
“I remember he spoke to our team before we played down at Florida State and all he talked about was his situation,” Cremins
said. “He told our team, ‘You have an opportunity to play. You don’t have cancer. You should give it your fullest.’"
The current coaching staff at Colorado has formed an N.C. State alumni association of sorts. Former Valvano assistants Tom Abatemarco and De reek Whittenburg are now assistants to Joe Harrington with the Buffaloes.
“Sometimes, he would be going through his speech and I would get so fired up, I’d forget that I was one of the coaches,” Whittenburg said in a radio interview. "I was thinking I was a player. I was getting ready to go out there and play."
North Carolina coach Dean Smith said the rivalry with Valvano and N.C. State stayed on the court.
“Not only did Jim have a great coaching career, speaking career, family and friends, but in this last year he was a role model of courage to the countless thousands afflicted with life-threatening diseases," Smith said.
Valvano, who lived in Cary, is survived by his wife, Pam, and daughters Jamie, Nicole and Lee Ann. A wake is scheduled for this evening, and funeral services will be held Friday at ll a.m. EDT at St. Andrew’s RC. Church in Apex. ■
Drexler should play
Hamstring to be tested against Spurs
PORTLAND, Ore. — Clyde Drexler seems a likely participant in tonight’s NBA playoff opener between the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Antonio Spurs, even if he won’t say so.
Drexler scrimmaged with the Blazers on Wednesday as coach Rick Adelman led his players through practice less than 24 hours after the sudden death of his father.
Leonard Adelman suffered a fatal heart attack Tuesday at his home in suburban Portland, not far from his son’s house. The elder Adelman was 79.
Drexler, who missed all but seven minutes of the final 12 games of the regular season because of a strained left hamstring, said he felt good after the workout but stopped short of confirming that he would play in the opener of the best-of-5 series.
“I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself,” he said. “I’m going to wait and see what everyone thinks and the doctor will
NBA Playoff Glance
First Round (Best^>f-5)
Thursday, April 29
New Jersey at Cleveland, 7:30 p m.
Charlotte at Boston, 8 p m
LA Clippers at Houston, 8 30 p rn
San Antonio at Portland, 10 30 p m
Friday, April 30
Indiana at New York, 8 p m
Atlanta at Chicago, 8pm
Utah at Seattle, 10 p m
LA Lakers at Phoenix, 10 30 p rn
Saturday, May 1
Charlotte at Boston, 1 pm
San Antonio at Portland, 3 30 p rn
New Jersey at Cleveland, 7 pm.
LA Clippers at Houston. 9:30 p.m. Sunday, May 2
Indiana at New York, 12 30 p m.
LA Lakers at Phoenix, 3 p m Atlanta at Chicago, 5 30 p.m.
Utah at Seattle. 9 pm
make the ultimate decision.” But, he admitted, “Things have gone very positive and we hope that it continues."
If Drexler does play, he’ll probably start at small forward, leaving Rod Strickland and Terry Porter in the backcourt.
Smithson Valley sprinter Corey Henderson, here crossing the finish line first in the IOO meters at the District 28-4A meet two weeks ago, is one of 24 Comal County athletes competing in the Region IV track and field meet Friday and Saturday at Northside Stadium in San Antonio. Field events and preliminaries will be run on Friday and the finals will begin with the 3200-meter run Saturday at 12:45 p.m.
NFL draft fulfills Texan’s childhood dream
MOUNT PLEASANT — If Barry Minter sat down and wrote a script of his own life story, he couldn’t have done a better job than the one that played out Monday morning.
Minter always dreamed when he was growing up that he would wear a Dallas Cowboys uniform.
Now, he is going to get that opportunity.
The Cowboys selected Minter, a native of Mount Pleasant, in the sixth round of the National Football League draft. The 6-3, 235-pound University of Tulsa linebacker was definitely happy with the way things turned out.
“I get to go home, I’m real excited right
now,” said Minter, who would be just two hours away from Mount Pleasant if he makes the Cowboys roster. “It’s a childhood dream come true. It couldn’t end better if it was a fairy tale.
“I just want to thank God for giving me this ability and to thank the Cowboys for giving me an opportunity to play in the NFL.
“I was very blessed not to go to just any club, but the defending Super Bowl Champions and America’s team. It’s a place I can call home. I feel just as blessed as Drew Bledsoe or Rick Mirer ”
Bledsoe and Mirer were the first two selections in Sunday's NFL draft. They were taken by the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks respectively.
Minter, a 1988 Mount Pleasant High School graduate, knew that he would be drafted by the Cowboys after attending the NFL combine in Indianapolis.
“They told me earlier at the combine that they needed backers and they would probably draft two," said Minter, who was also selected along with linebacker Darrin Smith of the University of Miami, taken in the second round. “They held true to what they said."
They were the two lone linebackers chosen by the Cowboys, which are looking to shore up that position. Cowboys’ linebacker Godfrey Myles is expected to miss this upcoming season after suffering a knee injury in the team’s 52-17 Super Bowl victory over the Buffalo Bills.
COWBOYS 1993 SCHEDULE
Sunday, Aug 1 Minnesota at Texas Stadium, 7 p m. Sunday, Aug 8 Detroit at London 11 30 a m. (CBS) Saturday, Aug. 14-Los Angeles Raiders at Texas Stadium 7 pm. (ESPN)
Saturday, Aug 21 Houston al San Antonio. 11 30 a.rn., (CBS). Fnday.Aug 27 at Chicago 8 p rn REGULA R SF ASON
Monday, Sept 6, at Washington. 8 pm, (ABC) Sunday, Sept 12. Bu ft alo, 3 pm (HBC)
Sunday, Sept 19 at Phoenix Sunday Sept 26 Open Date Sunday. Oct 3, Green Bay, noon, (CBS)
Sunday. Od IO. at Indian polis, noon, (CBS)
Sunday, Od 17. San Francisco, 3 p rn, (CBS) Sunday, Od 24 Open Date Sunday. Od. 31, at Philadelphia, noon, (CBS) Sunday. Nov 7, New York Giants, noon, (CBS) Sunday, Nov. 14, Phoenix, noon, (CBS)
Sunday, Nov. 21. at Atlanta, noon. (CBS)
Thursday, Nov 25, Miami, 3 pm. (NSC)
Monday. Dec 6, Philadelphia. 8 p m (ABC)
Sunday, Dec. 12, at Minnesota. 3 p m. (CBS) Saturday, Dec. 18. at New York Jets 3 pm (CBS) Sunday, Dec 26, Washington, 3 p m (CBS)
Sunday. Jan 2, at New York Giants, noon, (CBS)
CMS Youth Fishing Tourney
Th* top finisher*
This month 40 sixth-grade students, who completed Coach Ron Hixon’s fishing unit at Canyon Middle School, participated in the Third Annual CMS Youth Fishing Tournament on Lake McQueeney, Sixteen area bass fishermen donated their time and their boats
to take students fishing.
Trophies and rods and reels were awared to the top three finishers in the following categories: biggest fish, heaviest stringer and most fish. Greg Bowers vest finished fir&t in the biggest fish category, while Brian Behrend was
second and Erie Warm was third.
Nick Nash won the heaviest stringer category, while Jason Thornton and Joey Hendrus were second and third.
Aaron Parker caught the most fish and he was followed by Cory Michelson and Mark Aguirre.
Trophies, prizes, sodas and hot dogs were provided by the following sponsors: Coca Cola, H.E.B, Mrs. Baird’s Bread, Rivercrest Drive Inn, Canyon Athletic Booster Club, Oldham Lures, Wal Mart, K-Mart, Zebco, San Antonio Towns & Country Optimisl and
McQueeney Marina owner, J.W. Langlinais, for providing the use of his grounds and launch ramp for the tournament Hixon also thanked bass fishermen Woody Woodruff and Steve Lopez, whose efforts made the tourney possible, Hixon said.
Really, I didn’t mean to put a jinx on anyone when I said nobody seems to want District 28-4A’s second baseball playoff spot. But it does seem that I was right.
Canyon and Clemens each have had two shots to take a decisive hold on the spot and New Braunfels let one slip away in a 4-1 loss to Kerrville Tivy Tuesday night. Now, even Alamo Heights has played its way into the picture.
Heights, which plays Tivy tomorrow and the Unicorns in the closer, is tied for third with the Cougars at 7-5.
New Braunfels and Uvalde are a game back at 6-6, but both are on the verge of elimination. The Unicorns’only chance rests in Clemens losing to both Canyon and Kerrville, something that could happen, but they also need Smithson Valley to beat the up-and-down Cougars in the season finale.
That’s not likely to happen, but then nothing likely has happened yet.
Canyon’s job is simple — win the next two against the Buffaloes and the Rangers and it is at least tied for second with Clemens. It would be a shame for a team with as much talent as the Cougars to sit at home because their heads aren’t screwed on straight.
Remembering Jimmy V
Today Tm laughing, thinking and crying about Jim Valvano’s loss to fight cancer.
The enigmatic former North Carolina State basketball coach and basketball analyst is now doing his work on a higher level.
The coach who carried his emotions on his sleeve will always be an inspiration to me and to many. His speech at the American Sports Awards, where he was awarded the first Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, was funny, moving and heartbreaking all at the same time. That was Jimmy V — able to string out your emotions to a fray.
* He did it as a coach, as an analyst and in life. He lived every day of the last IO months like it was his last and I think he knew it was. He said he wanted to give out next year’s Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, but as I watched him say it for the third time in reruns, I could tell he didn’t really believe it.
It would’ve taken a miracle and Valvano was just plain out of them.
From the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles: Although the start of World Cup soccer action is more than a year away —June 17, 1994— and no one knows what teams will be playing at which of nine venues throughout the United States, World Cup USA *94 has already sold 600,000 tickets to members of the soccer community in this country. Another 1.4 million tickets for the general public will go on sale on a first come, first served basis in mid-June. Sales procedures are still being worked out, but tickets will be available through an “800" number.