Ray Romano is set to produce and star in a new film depicting the life and meteoric coaching ascent of Jim Valvano. Jim’s story is that of the ultimate underdog story that is almost tailor-made for the Hollywood treatment. In the 1983 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, Valvano’s North Carolina State Wolfpack made a miraculous run to the finals culminating with the defeat of the heavily favored Houston Cougars. Valvano’s underdog spirit never faltered, even after a tragic cancer diagnosis. His most famous speech at the Espy awards in 1993, known as the “Never Give Up” speech, helped launch the V foundation. The foundation is one of the biggest supporters of research in fighting cancer. Valvano passed away later that same year.
Valvano’s son is ecstatic to see his father’s story played out on screen, saying, “We couldn’t be more excited to finally tell my father’s story in the form of a feature film, especially with Ray Romano and game1 as partners.”
Valvano’s daughter shares her thoughts as well, saying, “We had a front-row seat to one of the greatest stories of all time, and we are thrilled to share it with the entire world as well.”
Romano had this to say about the project “Jim Valvano has always been an inspiration to me. I’m looking forward to working with the team at game1 as well as the Valvano Family to bring Jim’s incredible story and legacy to the screen.”
Game1 co-CEO Iwanyk said, “Jimmy V was not only one of the great college basketball coaches of this generation, but one of the most inspirational and impactful figures in the world in terms of his efforts to eradicate cancer. Ray is the perfect choice to not only help produce this film, but to play Jimmy V.”