Basketball rival helps raise $9M for V Foundation for Cancer Research

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A Master motivator, coach K spent the prior eleven summers driving USA basketball to gold medals. (WTVD)

The master motivator, coach Krzyzewski, spent the prior 11 summers driving USA basketball to gold medals. With that chapter closed, he's back in California, inspiring others to give in the name of cancer research.

At Saturday's fundraiser, the V Foundation, named after Jim Valvano, raised almost $9 million for cancer research. But what made it even better was an assist from formal rival coach K.

"I'm here because Jimmy recruited me 24 years ago," coach K said. "I'm a V Foundation board member right from the beginning. We love, absolutely love coming up to Napa Valley and raising not just money, but awareness in our fight against cancer."

Krzyzewski said he's happy to help; just don't mistake his presence at a V Foundation event as free time.

That really doesn't exist when eight players depart from the Duke roster.

"There's a new phenomenon in college basketball in that you're not going to have a good player long," he said. "We lost eight guys off last year's team. The single biggest problem is sustaining a championship level culture with young guys. We're going to work on trying to figure that out."

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To ease the high turnover, there's a trip to the Dominican in August. Another summer activity that would conflict with the Team USA commitment.

"We're going to go to the Dominican Republic for eight days and playing against their national team and practicing against them as they prepare for one of the FIBA International events."

Coach K is also counting on Grayson Allen to mark a big step forward in all areas.

Allen battled ankle, foot, and hand injuries during a tumultuous junior season. He was also suspended and stripped of his captaincy from a tripping an opponent.

"He really played hurt all year, and he had some situations that became public," said coach K. "I think he's healthy. A fresh start and I think he's going to have a terrific year and he's going to be our leader which will help him."

Once back on campus, Krzyzewski will be locked in on Duke hoops.

If the upcoming season goes as well as the fundraiser, it could be a banner year.

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