In honor of its 30th anniversary, The V Foundation for Cancer Research launched a cancer awareness campaign this week featuring former Duke University men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.

The one-minute spot titled “Halftime” features a cancer researcher delivering an inspiring locker room speech on the advancements made in the fight against the disease and the need to continue investing in cancer research to make progress in the future.

The tagline of the effort is “today’s cancer research is tomorrow’s victory.”

Krzyzewski, a V Foundation board member, commends her on the speech and says “let’s go win” before leading her out of the locker room. 

The campaign, which was created by ad agency Connelly Partners and released a week before the start of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament commonly known as “March Madness,” leans into the relationship between prominent hoops figures and cancer. 

The V Foundation itself has a long, storied history in the cancer research field.

Founded in 1993, it was established by former North Carolina State University men’s basketball coach Jim Valvano and ESPN. At the time, Valvano was diagnosed with metastatic adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer that affects glandular tissues and spreads to other parts of the body.

In March 1993, Valvano accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the inaugural ESPY Awards, where he delivered an 11-minute speech that touched on his condition, his coaching career and his thoughts on life. 

In the address, Valvano said that the motto for the organization is “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”

“I know I’ve got to go. I’ve got to go, and I got one last thing. I’ve said it before and I’m gonna 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,” Valvano said. 

Less than two months after the speech, Valvano passed away at the age of 47, but the V Foundation has continued to carry on his legacy by raising more than $150 million for cancer research and distributing nearly 1,200 grants.

Notably, today is also Valvano’s birthday, when he would have turned 77 years old.