The one hour thirty-eight minute program highlights the nine game stretch of come from behind wins that North Carolina (NC State), dubbed the "cardiac kids," needed to get into the 1983 championships. Up against North Carolina (UNC), coached by Dean Smith, the legendary Michael Jordan fouls out and NC State rallies to win 91 to 84 in overtime. And NC State triumphs over Virginia 81 to 78 to get into the ACC tournament. Pepperdine is defeated in double overtime and then UNLV in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The 1983 NCAA championship is between No. 1 Houston Cougars with a possible of four number-one draft picks and a 31-2 record versus NC State with a record of 25-10. After his diagnosis of cancer, Coach Valvano expresses his thoughts on what is most important.
This documentary is stunning on so many levels. The love and respect that executive producer Derrick Whittenberg has/had for coach Jimmy Valvano comes through in so many ways in this exciting tribute to Coach V and the members of the 82'-83 NC State men's basketball team that won the NCAA championship against powerhouse Houston (Phi Slamma Jamma). Even if you know the story well, this video will move you and at times have you at the edge of your seat. It's perhaps the greatest underdog story in sports history.
This to me was the best of a magnificent documentary series--30 for 30. This one has it all. Humor to the "laugh out loud" degree, tears, suspense, shared joy, shared sadness, stories of courage, determination, camaraderie, an inspiring message of the true meaning of trust, hope, never giving up. It's one that everyone, sports fan or not, should see. If you're a basketball fan, you have the added bonus of seeing some incredible moments of some of the most awesome college basketball in history. But that is not what makes this film great. One of the many stories and phrases as told by Coach Valvano ends with his quote of a mentor, "The Lord must love ordinary people. He made so many of us ordinary. And every day in every walk of life, ordinary people do extraordinary things."
Saw this on ESPN, recently. The only word I have to describe this documentary is Fabulous! Aside from being a tear jerker, it does a wonderful job of bringing back a reunion, 30 year, of the players, their commentary[from both teams], snippets of that 1983 season, Valvano, and of course the Wolfpack's monumental Final Four victory over that great Houston team anchored by Olajuwon and Drexler. This is a very well done documentary of a most exhilarating piece of basketball history, and one that belongs in every sports fan's library.
The true story of the 1983 North Carolina State basketball team, always the underdogs, mostly black but advancing toward glory against all odds with the almost mystical encouragement of a funny, affectionate white coach they truly love. Called "The Cardiac Kids" because they kept winning games by one point with like 7 seconds left in overtime against teams considered by all to far outmatch them. Produced some seventeen years afterward by the player considered the heart and soul of the team, much of it told by the players at a warm-hearted, hilarious reunion, their final achievement is depicted in a major television retrospective as one of the most striking moments of the 20th Century. I value it, too, for showing the kind of genuine affection and mutual respect between black and white made possible by sports. I watched it with a close black friend, who said at the end that she valued it "for showing black men in such a positive light." Recommended highly.
Are you a sports fan? Do you know anyone or has anyone in your family died from cancer? If so, you'll be touched by this documentary and will want to watch it over and over. This story involves the ACC & NCAA tournament run by the North Carolina State Wolfpack men's basketball team from 1983, which culminated in the national championship game against Houston. You'll enjoy the story regarding the March Madness, but even more moving was the story about N.C. State's head coach, Jim Valvano. Valvano had a storied career as a basketball coach, and became an announcer for ESPN/ABC; he suffered from cancer shortly after leaving coaching and this story is about his struggle as well. I would rate this ESPN "30 for 30" as probably the best, and by far the most moving of any of these fantastic films. I highly recommend this film to you, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed when you see it.
A truly remarkable story, even for those who are not sports fans. The bittersweet recollections of the surviving members of North Carolina State's 1983 NCAA Championship basketball team, gathered in reunion for only the second time since improbably attaining their title, offers a movingly inspiring story of those players' grit and determination to win that accolade. But more so, the film presents a marvelous portrait of NC State's memorable coach, Jim Valvano, who died of cancer 10 years after that team's victory. As middle aged men, the players now look back with pride and incredulity at their singular accomplishment - their love and respect for one another clearly shows through. But they all reflect on the extraordinarily special person their late coach had been, how effective he was in lifting them to achieve their amazing victory and what a vividly inspiring presence he remains. The life lessons these players took from their coach - and which continue to resonate through memory of Jim Valvano's courage, love of life and great good humor - are inspiring to anyone. The insightful nuggets of wisdom Valvano imparted (and which resonate in this excellent documentary) have applicability far beyond the arena. A story like this helps explain the powerful and enduring attraction sport offers and why, at its finest, a game can transcended the mechanics of on-court competition and become a wonderful metaphor for meaningfully living one's life, battling adversity and long odds, remaining steadfast in having faith in oneself and persevering to ultimately triumph. In Coach Valvano's stirring words (as cancer was taking his life), "Don't give up, don't ever give up!"
One of the best things I've ever viewed on a television. I remembered the final shot of that year's NCAA men's basketball tournament, but really never knew so much of what lead up to that final shot. Also, the story of what transpired thereafter was something I was only partially aware of. Just a great recap of not just a set of events, but also a great display of the people that were involved. Too many specifics might give away parts of the story - even those who shun sports might find value in this DVD.
You can't go wrong with 30 for 30 docs. This is no exception. You will laugh and cry...several times. This story is about sports, no doubt. However, it's a great story about life and human reactions surrounding sports arenas. It's about a Cinderella story and the special slipper. It's about survival of the fittest. It's about claiming what is yours.
The archival footage is great. It makes me wonder why it's almost impossible to find my high school basketball footage on hi-8. The messages are clear. This is a must have.
I was so excited to get this video for Christmas! I was attending NC State in 1983 when we won the National Championship. I remember cheering on the "Cardiac Pack" our "Cinderella Team". It was an incredible time! What I didn't know was all the back stories of the team members and their experiences on the journey. That made the video even better. Jimmy V. was such an amazing coach and inspiring person and it brought back such bittersweet memories. It is sad that it took the death of Lorenzo Charles to have this documentary made. I highly recommend this video, not only to NC State Fans and College Basketball fans, but to anyone who is looking for inspiration in their lives :-)