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Former Wolfpack coach Jim Valvano diagnosed as having cancer in back


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Former North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano has been diagnosed as having cancer in his back.

Valvano, now a television analyst with ABC and ESPN, has not felt well for more than a month and has been undergoing tests in Raleigh, said his agent, Art Kaminsky.

Kaminsky said that Valvano was given the diagnosis this week but that the extent of the illness had not been determined.

"It's serious, I won't deny that, but there are many details we don't know yet," Kaminsky said.

Valvano, 46, once coached at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

He was unavailable for comment, but was to have tests in Raleigh today and will go to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York next week for extensive testing.

"We hope to get some definitive word there," Kaminsky said. "That is considered one of the greatest cancer centers in the world."

Michael Glance, an assistant to Kaminsky who also represents Valvano, said the cancer had been located in Valvano's back, but "nobody knows much more than that."

ESPN first reported Valvano's condition at the end of its 7 p.m. "SportsCenter" newscast last night.

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

Valvano coached at N.C. State for 10 years, compiling a 209-114 record from 1981 through '90. He led the Wolfpack to the 1983 national championship.

A controversy following the book "Personal Fouls" led to an NCAA investigation of the Wolfpack program, NCAA probation in 1990 and, ultimately, Valvano's resignation. Wolfpack players were found to have sold game tickets and shoes. Allegations that some players participated in point-shaving have not been proven.

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