ESPN, American Kennel Club Recognize V Foundation, Valvano Championship Anniversaries in Diving Dog Event at N.C. State

AKC Diving Dog Challenge Airs April 9 at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2
AKC Diving Dog Challenge

The American Kennel Club (AKC) and ESPN joined forces for the 2023 AKC Diving Dog Challenge, an all-star invitational competition hosted by the College of Veterinary Medicine on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. Highlights from the exciting dog sport event will air in a two-hour presentation on ESPN2 on Sunday, April 9, beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.

N.C. State was the home of men’s basketball coach Jim Valvano, who 40 years ago led the Wolfpack to the 1983 national championship title. The 2023 AKC Diving Dog Challenge commemorated the anniversary of the championship as well as the 30th anniversary of the founding of the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

The V Foundation was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Valvano, who was an ESPN commentator after his coaching career. Since then, the Foundation has awarded over $310 million in research grants, which have been used to fund all cancer types at the 71 NCI-designated cancer centers in the US and other exceptional research institutions.

N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine is a beneficiary of the V Foundation’s canine comparative oncology research grant program. Canine comparative oncology allows researchers to better understand the similarities of cancers that commonly occur in dogs and humans, with a goal of more efficient and less costly drug trials, new treatment plans, and improved outcomes for both dog and human cancer patients.

The 2023 AKC Diving Dog Challenge included 36 top diving dogs from around the country competing in three divisions:
  • Distance,
  • Air Retrieve,
  • Hydro Dash.

Carolyn Manno is the play-by-play commentator for the telecast, joined by analyst Jason Rigler and host and reporter Phil Murphy.



About the V Foundation for Cancer Research

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator.

The V Foundation has funded over $310 million in game changing cancer research grants nationwide through a competitive process strictly supervised by a world-class Scientific Advisory Committee.

Because the V Foundation has an endowment to cover administrative expenses, 100% of direct donations are awarded to cancer research and programs. The V team is committed to accelerating Victory Over Cancer®. To learn more, visit

  • Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization, which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 22,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred and mixed breed dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.

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