RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- This weekend, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced it will induct Jim Valvano as a member.
Not only is the N.C. State icon being honored for his coaching and broadcast careers, he's also being honored for his philanthropic work.
When the news came across this weekend that Valvano would be enshrined, it was a relief and a long time coming for many people, including former star player Dereck Whittenburg.
"Jim wanted to be here at N.C. State," Whittenburg said. "He embraced the history here, this is the school he wanted to be at. He came here to win a national championship, and he looked back at the history with Everett Case cutting down the nets. And the first thing he taught us was about cutting down the nets and setting your mark, once you leave this school that one day, you're going to put that banner up and be a champion for people to remember forever."
The former Wolfpack guard and national champion said Monday afternoon that the timing couldn't be any better with the 40th anniversary of the "Cardiac Pack's" unforgettable 1983 NCAA title and with the V Foundation now in its 30th year.
Whittenburg spoke about some remarkable on-court accomplishments but Valvano's contributions to society are just as impressive. Through his cancer diagnosis, Valvano sparked a movement that has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research.
Whittenburg said his old coach would be pleasantly surprised at how his words spoken three decades ago remain relevant to this day.
"What Jim wanted, he knew it wouldn't save his life but by starting the V Foundation, he wanted to help others," Whittenburg said. "It's about the community, it's about people, and Jim loved people."
He said he plans to be in Springfield, Massachusetts, during the weekend of Aug. 12 when his former coach is immortalized.