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Former Coach Valvano Reported to Have Cancer

June 19, 1992|From Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — Former North Carolina State Coach Jim Valvano, now a college basketball analyst, has been diagnosed with cancer, ESPN reported Thursday.

The brief story at the end of a network telecast did not elaborate on the type of cancer, nor did it give any details of the extent of Valvano's illness.

"This next story is a tough one to report," sportscaster Bob Ley said. "But we will tell it to you straight out, the way that Jim Valvano would want us to."

Ley reported that Valvano, 46, is at his home "in excellent spirits."

Valvano's phone number is unlisted, and he could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

Chris LaPlaca, ESPN vice president for communications, said there were few other details to be made available Thursday night. He said Valvano is not taking calls.

"I'd hate to even speculate on it," LaPlaca said.

He said the network learned of Valvano's illness "in the last couple of days."

Valvano coached 10 seasons at N.C. State, leading the Wolfpack to the NCAA championship in 1983.

In 1989, his basketball program was embroiled in controversy based on the publication of a book, "Personal Fouls." An investigation into the book's allegations and a probe into the Wolfpack program led to an NCAA probation.

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