PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The basketball court at the historic College Ave Gym, affectionately referred to as “The Barn,” will officially be dedicated in honor of former Rutgers co-captain and Hall of Famer Jim Valvano this Saturday, April 29. Doors open to the public for the ceremony, which is part of the annual Rutgers Day celebration, at 3 p.m., with the formal program set to begin at 3:30 p.m.
“We are incredibly proud to place Jimmy V’s name upon the historic court on which he competed and began his coaching career,” said Rutgers director of athletics Pat Hobbs. “Jim inspired millions with his approach to life and how he dealt with adversity. It’s only fitting that the place where he began his college basketball career honor him in this way.”
The recognition was initially announced on Dec. 4, 2015, when Rutgers Athletics and The V Foundation honored the 1966-67 men’s basketball team at a dinner, with all net proceeds going to The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
Bob Lloyd, who was captain of the team with Valvano before later serving as Chairman of the Board for The V Foundation for 21 years, will speak at the court dedication. Additional members of the 1966-67 team will also be in attendance.
Lloyd and Valvano both exceeded 1,000 career points and were inducted into the Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame. A mural depicting the basketball inductees adorns the walls of the RAC lobby. The mural is “In Memory of James Valvano” and is “Given by roommate, teammate and friend Bob Lloyd.” Jimmy V’s signature phrase, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up,” which was uttered during his unforgettable 1993 ESPY speech, is prominent. The most recent men’s basketball inductee is Dick Lloyd, Bob’s brother, who served as an assistant coach on the 1966-67 squad under head coach Bill Foster.
The 1966-67 Rutgers men’s basketball team posted a 22-7 record and placed third in the National Invitation Tournament. Seventeen of the team’s wins were by double digits. Lloyd and Valvano formed the backcourt, with Lloyd becoming the Scarlet Knights’ first consensus All-American that season en route to having his jersey retired with 2,045 career points. Known as “Mr. Defense,” Valvano scored 1,122 points before beginning his career as an assistant and freshman coach at Rutgers.
The entire Rutgers class of 1967, which is celebrating its 50th-year reunion, is invited to the court dedication, as well as all Rutgers men’s basketball donors and season ticket holders. The event is also open to the public as part of Rutgers Day festivities.