Jim Valvano The Speech

A new edition of ESPN’s SC Featured docuseries will focus on Jim Valvano’s speech at the 1993 ESPYS.

Called The Speech, the feature “shares the details of Valvano’s life that became encapsulated in one incredible moment of determination as his health failed, to deliver his message to the world and launch a foundation that continues working to achieve his final dream — find a cure for cancer.”

Here’s a trailer, via ESPN’s release.

Here’s a comprehensive list of those interviewed in The Speech, including several members of Valvano’s family, Chris Berman, Mike Krzyzewski, Robin Roberts, Joe Theismann, and Dick Vitale.

Pam Valvano Strasser – Jim’s wife
Bob Valvano – Jim’s brother
Nick Valvano – Jim’s brother
Jamie Valvano – Jim’s daughter
Dereck Whittenburg – Member of Jim’s 1983 National Championship team
Bob Lloyd – Jim’s teammate at Rutgers University / former chairman of the V Foundation
Steve Binder – 1993 ESPYS Director
Dr. Joseph O. Moore – Jim’s oncologist
Mike Krzyzewski – Duke Men’s Basketball Coach 1980-2022 / Jim’s close friend
Joe Theismann – NFL Quarterback 1974-1985 / in the audience at the first ESPYs
Robin Roberts – Co-anchor, Good Morning America / ESPN Anchor 1990-2005 / 1993 ESPYS presenter
Chris Berman – ESPN Anchor / in the audience at the first ESPYS
Chris LaPlaca – ESPN Sr. VP Corporate Communications
Dick Vitale – ESPN Basketball Analyst / Jim’s close friend
Dr. Charles R. Rogers – V Foundation – Funded Researcher
George Bodenheimer – ESPN President, 1998-2012 / V Foundation Board Member
Steve Bornstein – ESPN President & CEO 1990-1999
John Lack – ESPN Executive VP Marketing and Programming 1992-1995
John Walsh – ESPN Executive Vice President 1990-2015
Rosa Gatti – ESPN Sr. VP Corporate Communications 1988-2013
Vince Doria – ESPN Sr. VP & Director of News 1992-2015

Michael O’Connor directed and produced The Speech.

Valvano was also featured in the Survive and Advance 30 for 30, which focused on his 1983 NC State national championship team. A biopic on Valvano, starring Ray Romano as Valvano, was reported on last year.

Valvano’s speech has gone down in history, and ESPN airs it yearly during V Week, which supports the V Foundation. While the speech itself has become truly iconic, many of the behind-the-scenes details about it don’t seem to get much attention. Maybe The Speech will give those details the spotlight they deserve.

The Speech will air Wednesday, July 12th at 7 PM on ESPN, and can be streamed on ESPN+. It will reair on Saturday, July 15th at 2 PM on ABC.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.