Farmingdale State's Tiffara Steward, who overcame several disabilities to play women's college basketball, has been named the V Foundation Comeback Award, presented in the memory of former Long Islander Jim Valvano, who coached North Carolina State to the men's NCAA title in 1983.
Steward, who stands 4-6 and is believed to be the shortest NCAA basketball player in history, underwent six surgeries by the age of three. She is blind in her right eye and has over 50 percent hearing loss in both ears. She also has severe scoliosis. Yet, Steward, a junior, became the starting point guard and averaged 5.8 points per game.
"The V foundation does great things for cancer research," Steward said in a statement. "Cancer has affected my family many times. . . I believe, like Coach V, that one should never give up, no matter what disabilities or hardships you are faced with."
The award will be presented to Steward later this year at the Jimmy V New York City Basketball Dinner.