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Jim Valvano Story

From former Pacers and Pistons head coach George Irvine, at Basketball.org:

A number of years ago, there used to be a All-Star type tournament in Hawaii after the college season had ended. It involved players who were probably going to be in the NBA Draft that June and the four teams were coached by college coaches, different coaches each year.

One year Jimmy V. was coaching one of the teams and we happened to run into each other on the beach. ... Well, it got kind of hot, so we went out into the surf (scouting can be tough sometimes) and continued talking and talking. After a couple of hours, I went back up to my room.

I had brought my wife, our two sons and my mom with me to Hawaii, for a little vacation while I had to work my butt off scouting.

When I got to the room, my mom came running up to me all upset. She had been watching Valvano and me from our balcony, about 10 floors up. She said, ”what's wrong with that man?” ”Why was he so mad at you?” ”I almost called security because I thought you two were about to fight.”

I explained to her that he was Jimmy Valvano, the coach at North Carolina State, who she then recognized, and we were just talking. She couldn't hear us, but she saw all our hand movements and thought we were angry. I explained that Jimmy was Italian, and that was the way he talked, with his hands.

My mom was a very gentle person, who loved to laugh. When she realized everything was fine, she just laughed at her being overly concerned. She got to meet Jimmy later, and when I told him the story, we all laughed and he gave her a big hug. She loved him ever after.

All kinds of Jimmy V stuff on ESPN.com.