Survive and advance. Today marks the 35th anniversary of NC State University’s unbelievable 1983 NCAA tournament run that ended in dramatic buzzer beating fashion over the heavily-favorited University of Houston. This game has long been viewed as one of the greatest championship games in all athletics – amateur and professional alike.
The 1982-83 NC State Wolfpack team had one heck of a journey throughout that championship season. So many twists, turns, close tournament games that ESPN featured the team’s improbable run in one of their most successful “30 for 30” series documentaries. If you have not seen Survive and Advance, please do yourself a favor and watch. You will not be disappointed in this incredible example of perseverance.
Merriam-Webster defines the word as this:
: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition : the action or condition or an instance of persevering : steadfastness
How many times do we face challenges in our lives, career or even within our families? Sure it is easiest to bury our hand in the sand, ignore and simply hope the issues will rectify themselves. This often isn’t the case. We need to be strong, adjust our sails (as Dr. John Maxwell says) and be willing to change course. Giving up, should not be in the cards though.
The 1982-83 NC State Wolfpack men’s basketball team embodies so many strong character strengths. This tight-knit group stayed together through thick and thin even when times were tough. Every player on the bench believed in head coach Jim Valvano just as much as he believed in each of them.
Did the season end as they planned? Yes. They envisioned an NCAA Championship. Did it happen remotely how they envisioned? Not by a mile. That’s what makes this tale of perseverance so amazing – even 35 years later.
How will you adjust when your plan doesn’t go as mapped out? Adjust the sails or stay the course?