En marzo de 1993, Jim Valvano recibió el Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award en el ESPY Awards. Padecía de cáncer y le quedaba poco tiempo de vida. Y aprovecho esa oportunidad para ofrecer su última lección:
“To me, there are three things we all should do every day,” he stated. “Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy.
“…. think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”
“I know, I gotta go, I gotta go, and I got one last thing and I said it before, and I want to say it again. Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.”