Cancer Free Baby! College basketball announcer Dick Vitale receives a clean bill of health after recovering from lymphoma and the 83-year-old basketball icon thanks his fans for their prayers
- ESPN college basketball announcer Dick Vitale has revealed he is cancer-free
- The tire icon has been in remission since February following a diagnosis in October
- He previously beat melanoma in 2021 before being diagnosed with lymphoma
Dick Vitale is cancer free, baby.
The beloved college basketball announcer and former coach announced the good news on Twitter Wednesday night. It is the second time he has beaten cancer in the past year, following a melanoma battle last August that included six months of chemotherapy. Doctors discovered lymphoma in October, causing him to miss most of the 2021-22 season, but he has been in remission since February.
He returned briefly for an ESPN broadcast of a highly anticipated Gonzaga-UCLA game in November, but then took a vacation while he was being treated for vocal cord dysplasia.
Vitale also took the moment to ask for donations for his upcoming gala, which aims to raise money for the fight against childhood cancer.
Dick Vitale is cancer free, baby. The beloved college basketball announcer and former coach announced the good news on Twitter Wednesday night. It is the second time he has beaten cancer in the past year, following a melanoma battle last August that included six months of chemotherapy. Doctors discovered lymphoma in October, causing him to miss most of the 2021-22 season, but he has been in remission since February
As always, Vitale thanked his many fans for their thoughts and prayers
“Dr. Rick Brown just messaged me with my results from my major pet scan and shared news I wish EVERY cancer patient could hear,” Vitale, 83, tweeted. “He said, ‘Dick, you’ve gone from remission to CANCER FREE’! Thanks to EVERYONE who sent me [prayers].’
College basketball fans were over the moon at what one described as “wonderful news.”
‘Hell yeah Dickie!!’ tweeted reporter Molly Knight. “You are an inspiration and give people hope.”
‘Amazing news, Dick!! So very happy for you and your family!!’ added ESPN’s Kevin Connors.
One fan referenced former North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano, Vitale’s close friend and fellow ESPN, who died of cancer in 1993 shortly after delivering a famous speech at the network’s ESPY Awards.
“Jimmy V is grinning from ear to ear right now, his foundation helped fund research to save numerous lives including his best friend,” the fan wrote.
Former NC State Coach Jim Valvano, who lost his battle with cancer in 1993
Valvano and Vitale relax at Vitale’s home in Sarasota, Florida on November 20, 1992
Vitale was similarly emotional in October while discussing his second cancer diagnosis in December.
“I’m a perpetual optimist who acts like a teenager,” Vitale said during an on-air address. “But there is no doubt that these last five months have been emotionally and physically frustrating.
“I will continue to provide updates as I go forward and I have every faith that I will win this battle and get back to doing what I love – calling games on the field next season. In the meantime, I will enjoy all the great games in my living room and enjoy the love of my wonderful family.”
The New Jersey native was a former head coach at the University of Detroit from 1973-1977, who later coached the NBA’s Pistons for two seasons, and joined ESPN shortly after the network’s founding in 1979.
Since then he has become synonymous with college basketball, coining terms like “diaper dandy” (a good freshman) and “PTPer” (prime-time player) and helping spread the sport from coast to coast.
In 2008, he was inducted into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the NCAA Basketball Hall of Fame.
Vitale has also raised money for cancer research through the V Foundation, which is named after Valvano.
A native of New Jersey, he was a former head coach at the University of Detroit from 1973 to 1977 and then coached the NBA Pistons for two seasons. The New Jersey native joined ESPN shortly after the network launched in 1979