PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- It was only fitting that the Jimmy V
Foundation for Cancer Research launched an initiative honoring Kay
Yow after she spent so many years at North Carolina State with the
late Jim Valvano.
The Hall of Fame coach, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in
1987, is lending her name to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer fund,
announced Monday at a news conference before Rutgers (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) beat No. 3 Maryland 68-60 in the sixth annual Jimmy V Women's
"Kay and Jim shared a passion for winning and that passion will
now also be applied to fighting cancer with hopefully the same
winning result they had on the court," said Nick Valvano, chief
executive of the V Foundation. "It was a no-brainer. They both
shared the same courage. About the only difference is my brother
had nowhere near the humility that she has."
Valvano led NC State to an improbable national championship in
1983. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1992, and died not
long after announcing the formation of the V Foundation the
The Women's Basketball Coaches Association will launch its
support of the initiative with the 4Kay run/walk as part of Final
Four festivities on April 5.
"I'm extremely excited," Yow said. "It's an honor for me to
be a part of this great foundation."
Yow learned she had stage-four cancer last November, but despite
her illness has remained upbeat and positive.
"It all started with my mother," Yow said. "She died of
cancer the same year Jim did. She was a great example who always
saw the silver lining."
Last year, Yow missed most of NC State's season before
returning for the Wolfpack's emotional run to the round of 16 in
the NCAA Tournament.
The NC State coach has more than 700 career wins. She was also
one of the only people who could get Connecticut coach Geno
Auriemma and Tennessee coach Pat Summitt in the same room to do a
TV promo for the new initiative that was set to debut Monday night.
"We're all competitive on the court," Yow said, "but rally
together for a great cause."