Ray Romano Cast as Basketball Coach Jim Valvano in Upcoming Biopic

Posted 2022/05/10 2 0

Ray Romano will play the role of the late Jim Valvano, a basketball coach and commentator known for his optimistic disposition.

Ray Romano will play late basketball coach and commentator Jim “Jimmy V” Valvano in an upcoming unnamed biopic, Deadline confirmed Monday. The biopic will show Valvano’s life, from his coaching days with the North Carolina State Wolfpack to the terminal cancer diagnosis that led to his untimely passing at just 47 on April 28, 1993. Valvano became admired for his off-court persona, a man whose hope and optimistic spirit never wavered.

The film’s script will be written by Jim Strouse (The Incredible Jessica James). Besides playing the lead role, Romano has taken on the role of producer. He is joined by game1’s Basil Iwanyk, Greg Economou, and Mark Ciardi. The Valvano family is involved in the upcoming film’s production and has signed on as executive producers.

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“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,. 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,” said Jamie Valvano, daughter of Jim Valvano.

No release date or other casting information is available at this time.

Jim Valvano’s Legacy

As a young college student, Valvano played basketball for Rutgers University, where he was named Senior Athlete of the Year in 1967. After his graduation that same year, he pursued a coaching career. His most notable performance as coach was during the 1983 NCAA Championship when he took the North Carolina State Wolfpack to a shocking win with a buzzer-beating dunk against the Houston Cougars, who were favored to win the title. He was the North Carolina State Coach from 1980 until his resignation in 1990, when he faced rule violation allegations. He served as athletic director for four of those years.

He furthered his basketball legacy by becoming a commentator for ABC Sports and ESPN. In 1992, Valvano was diagnosed with terminal metastatic bone cancer. On March 4, 1993, during that year’s ESPYs, Valvano gave his uplifting “never give up speech” while accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award. The touching speech lives on to be one of the awards show’s most memorable moments.

During his speech, Valvano announced the beginning of the V Foundation, which has since gone on to provide grants for projects working to fight the disease. Since the foundation’s inception, it has awarded nearly $290 million to cancer research and programs.

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