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Andre Brown said lesson of Jim Valvano kept him going

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16: Andre Brown #35 of the New York Giants carries the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 16, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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For all that he learned in school, Giants running back Andre Brown’s best-applied lesson was from his college’s late basketball coach.

The former N.C. State running back invoked the words of former N.C. State basketball coach Jim Valvano after his own testament to persistence in last night’s win.

Never give up,” Brown said, via Newsday’s Bob Glauber, echoing the words of Valvano’s famous speech while he was fighting cancer.

“He always said, ‘Never give up in anything you do,’” Brown went on. “You persevere. You keep at it.”

Brown spent his rookie season (2009) on injured reserve, tearing his Achilles on the final day of training camp. He’s been cut eight times by five teams, and spent last year on the Giants practice squad.

“Even though I was getting released, I kept getting signed, so somebody wanted me,” Brown said. “You get cut, but someone signs you, so it means you’ve got some talent.”

That made his first NFL start in his home state (the Panthers were also one of the five teams to employ him briefly) that much sweeter. Brown finished with 20 carries for 113 yards and two two touchdowns.

“I feel like I can play in this league, and I got the right team,” he said. “I’m comfortable with my guys. These are the guys that drafted me, they believed in me, and they came and got me back for a reason. This is not the end. I’m satisfied, but I still want more. I don’t want this to stop.”

It shouldn’t. The Giants have had success over the years using multiple backs, and while it was just one game, Brown showed he deserves a chance to be one of them.