Looking back: this week in sports history March 4 – 10

March 4, 1993: If you are a sports fan, you’ve heard of Jimmy V. If you’ve heard of Jimmy V, you’ve heard his infamous speech from the first-ever ESPY Awards on March 4, 1993. Jimmy Valvano, the head coach of North Carolina State, won the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award and his speech is one of the most recognized in sports history. He passed away from bone cancer the following month.

March 5, 1991: We don’t need to explain how good a player Reggie Miller was, and even more importantly, how good of a shooter he was. On March 5, 1991, Miller started his free throw streak of 52 consecutive free throws. He wouldn’t miss a single shot from the line until March 18th.

March 6, 1954: North Carolina State and Wake Forest met in the first ever ACC Tournament championship game. Wake Forest beat South Carolina and Maryland to make it to the championship game, while NC State took down North Carolina and Duke. But the Wolfpack needed overtime to beat Wake Forest, eventually doing so 82-80.

March 6, 1964: On March 6, 1964 boxing great Cassius Clay announced he is changing his name to Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam. In a radio broadcast he said the name Clay means nothing to him.

March 6, 1982: On march 6, 1982, the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks battled it out in one of the hardest fought NBA games. The two played a triple overtime game, with a score of 171-166 in favor of the Spurs. At the time it was the highest scoring NBA game ever, but the following year the Nuggets and Pistons played a three overtime game of their own, breaking the record.

March 7, 1996: Magic Johnson is one of the greatest to ever play the game. On March 7, 1996, he showed us why. The Laker became on the second player in history to reach 10,000 assists. He finished his career with 10,141 assists, still good for fifth on the all time list.

March 7, 2009: At 17 years old, Brazilian soccer player Neymar made his professional debut with Santons on March 7, 2009. Four years later, in 2013, he made his move to Europe, joining FC Barcelona.

March 7, 2016: On March 6, 2016, nearly a month after winning his second Super Bowl, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning announced he is retiring from the NFL after 17 (playing) seasons in the league. Throughout his career, he won five MVP awards, was a 7-time All Pro and 14-time Pro Bowler.

March 7, 2016: This is a day Maria Sharapova would like to forget, and definitely won’t want to repeat. On March 7, 2016, she announced that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open for meldonium, a heart medication that she did not know was recently banned.

March 8, 1971: It’s considered by some the fight of the century, a 15-round battle between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden. On this day, Frazier handed Ali his first ever loss, a loss by decision.

March 10, 1922: On March 10, 1922, Babe Ruth signed what is considered his first contract with the New York Yankees (three years after the Red Sox sold him to the Yankees). The three-year contract was worth $52,000 a year, a league-high at the time.

Notable birthdays

March 4, 1939 Former MLB pitcher Jack Fisher was born in Frostburg, MD
March 4, 1990 Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green was born in Saginaw, MI
March 6, 1972 NBA legend and 4-time champion Shaquille O’Neal was born in Newark, NJ
March 7, 1960 Former tennis great Ivan Lendl was born in Ostrava, Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia)
March 7, 1960 Former MLB outfielder Joe Carter was born in Oklahoma City, OK

We bid farewell to…

March 6, 2006 Former MLB player Kirby Puckett dies of a stroke, he was 45 years old
March 8, 1999 New York Yankees legendary outfielder Joe DiMaggio died of lung cancer at the age of 84