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#pounditTuesday, January 18, 2022

Articles tagged: Dick Vitale

Video: Dick Vitale shared emotional moment with crowd before Villanova-Baylor

Dick Vitale crying

Dick Vitale shared a really cool moment with the crowd prior to Sunday’s game between Villanova and Baylor.

Vitale, who is currently battling cancer, was on the call for the game in Waco and was introduced to the crowd pregame. He received a standing ovation that lasted over 30 seconds, and openly wept as he waved to the crowd.

The moment was similar to what Vitale experienced in his first game back on air in November. If anything, this might have been even more emotional considering it was the crowd paying tribute to the iconic college basketball broadcaster.

The 82-year-old Vitale announced his cancer diagnosis in October, and suggested his prognosis was fairly good. He certainly seems to be in top form as he continues working games while receiving treatment.

Video: Dick Vitale crying at start of UCLA-Gonzaga game on ESPN

Dick Vitale crying

Dick Vitale got emotional before the tip off in Tuesday night’s huge game between UCLA and Gonzaga.

Vitale announced in October that he had been diagnosed with cancer again. The 82-year-old began a course of treatment to fight the cancer. He has done well enough that he was cleared to travel and call Tuesday’s game in Las Vegas between the Bruins and Bulldogs.

Reflecting on the support he has received, and how happy he was to be able to call the game, Vitale cried while on air:

“I can’t believe I’m sitting here,” Vitale said. “This is really a big thrill for me.”

Vitale then went on to thank a number of people for supporting him and helping him overcome a difficult time.

For Dickie V, there’s no better medicine or therapy than getting to call a premier college basketball game.

Dick Vitale has very encouraging update in cancer battle

Dick Vitale

ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale shared some very good news about the progress of his cancer treatment on Thursday.

ESPN announced that Vitale has received clearance from his doctors to call games again, and will begin doing so on Nov. 23. Vitale will be on the call for the matchup between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 UCLA, which is part of the Good Sam Empire Classic.

“My family and I are absolutely jumping with joy,” Vitale said in a statement. “Knowing I’ll be courtside with all my buddies and calling Number 1 versus 2, this is the best medicine I could ask for. To all of you, I simply say ‘thank you from the bottom of my heart’ for your prayers and messages, phone calls and texts.”

The 82-year-old Vitale announced his cancer diagnosis in October. He began a six-month chemotherapy treatment process earlier in November, but his doctors determined it would be safe for him to travel and call games.

Vitale is one of college basketball’s most recognizable voices and his enthusiasm for the game is nothing but genuine. He’s right that this will probably function as great medicine for him as he continues his cancer fight.

Dick Vitale announces he has been diagnosed with cancer again

Dick Vitale

Dick Vitale revealed back in August that he was cancer-free after previously being diagnosed with melanoma, but unfortunately the college basketball legend is battling another health issue.

Vitale, 82, announced in a statement through ESPN on Monday that he has been diagnosed with lymphoma. He said his doctors believe the diagnosis is unrelated to the melanoma, which was removed from above his nose and “totally cleared.” Vitale said the treatment for lymphoma will be much more difficult but that he is optimistic it will be managed thanks to early detection.

“The plan is to treat my lymphoma with steroids and six months of chemotherapy,” Vitale said. “The medical experts tell me it has a 90-percent cure rate. They say I can continue to work so I will have to manage my work schedule around my chemo schedule as they will monitor my test results along the way.”

Vitale said he draws motivation from children he has met and spent time with over the years who have battled cancer.

“In my battle, I think of all the Courageous kids that I have gotten to know and I want all of them to know (after watching their battles with their cancers and handling the chemo/radiation) they inspire and motivate me to take on this biggest fight I have ever faced. I WILL DO EVERY THING IN MY POWER TO WIN THIS BATTLE!” he said.

After he spent several years as a high school and college coach, Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons for one season in 1978-79. He then went to work at ESPN and called the network’s first college basketball game in 1979.

Vitale is an incredible ambassador for college basketball and remains as enthusiastic about the sport as ever. He signed his most recent contract extension with ESPN earlier this year. Hopefully his treatments won’t keep him from doing what he loves all that often.

Dick Vitale signs 2-year contract extension with ESPN

Dick Vitale

Dick Vitale will remain on ESPN’s airwaves for the next few years.

Vitale signed a 2-year contract extension with ESPN that will take him through the 2022-2023 season.

In June 2019, Vitale signed a contract extension that ran through this season. His current one takes him through the next two college basketball seasons.

Vitale turns 82 in June but remains enthusiastic as ever about college basketball. He is an incredible ambassador for the sport and an important figure for ESPN. He called the network’s first ever college basketball game in 1979 and has been with them ever since.

This news is awesome, baby.

Dick Vitale vigorously defends John Calipari against firing talk

John Calipari

Dick Vitale gave an impassionate defense of John Calipari on Saturday.

Vitale was calling the Kentucky-Tennessee game on ESPN. About seven minutes into the game, Vitale decided to defend Calipari despite the Wildcats being a putrid 5-11 this season.

“I want to give a message out there to those people on social media talking about Calipari should be fired,” Vitale began. “C’mon, get real. Get absolutely real! The guy is one of the best coaches in America. I don’t care what this year shows! Bottom line, look at his track record at Mass and at Kentucky. It’s off the charts!

“So get off that crazy feeling, because he is not getting fired. That will not happen. I’ve got a better chance of growing hair than of him getting fired by Kentucky.”

You have to love the humor from Dickie V. He’s right too. Kentucky firing Calipari would be crazy. The 61-year-old has never won fewer than 21 games in a season at Kentucky. He’s reached the Elite Eight-or-better seven times since taking over the Wildcats in 2009. He’s won a championship. There aren’t many other coaches you’d rather have than him.

Even if Kentucky is having an embarrassingly bad year, firing Calipari would be nuts.

Video: Longtime Rays fan Dick Vitale reacts to Tampa Bay winning pennant

Dick Vitale Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Houston Astros 4-2 in Game 7 of the ALCS on Saturday night at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. to advance to the World Series for just the second time in their franchise’s history. The big win was rewarding for the team’s fans, including longtime fan Dick Vitale.

Vitale, best known for his passionate college basketball analysis, shared a video on Twitter of his reaction to the Rays making the World Series.

Even at 81, Vitale can still bring the energy and passion. You have to love it.

Vitale is no poser either. He’s been sharing his thoughts on the Rays for years, and isn’t afraid to criticize them. Now he gets the chance to enjoy their success.

Vitale is also pleased about how all the sports teams are performing in the Tampa area.

It’s a good time to be a Tampa sports fan.

Tom Izzo ‘furious’ with proposed transfer rule, according to Dick Vitale

Tom Izzo

Tom Izzo is said to be “furious” with the proposed new NCAA transfer rule.

The NCAA is considering a rule that would allow student-athletes a one-time transfer without penalty. Under current rules, student-athletes must sit out a season if they transfer, unless they are granted a waiver.

Longtime college basketball announcer and former coach Dick Vitale said on Twitter Saturday that he spoke with Izzo, who is “furious” about the transfer rule.

This kind of rule would allow for ease in player movement and probably make it difficult for coaches to build teams. It’s already difficult for top programs to account for players going pro and new ones coming in, and this might make it tougher. Other drawbacks include virtues like patience and fighting through adversity being discouraged, and fleeing situations encouraged. This could also make it much easier to form super teams/poach players.

But such a rule would allow players to find a better situation for themselves without the penalty of sitting out a year.

Coaches fear this becoming a free agency situation, which would make their jobs much harder, and might end up teaching bad principles to young players. Fortunately for Izzo, the rule appears unlikely to come for 2021.

Rays fan Dick Vitale blasts team over split-season proposition

Tampa Bay Rays superfan Dick Vitale is not at all happy with the team over the split-season concept they have floated.

The Rays last week went public with the idea they are considering having two homes and playing half a season in the Tampa area and the other half in Montreal.

Vitale, who has been a longtime Rays fan, ripped the team on Twitter Tuesday over the idea.

Part of the Rays’ proposal includes the Tampa area giving them a new stadium that is open air because the team would only play there the first half of the season. Such a stadium would be cheaper to build than a dome or retractable roof, which is why it was suggested. But Vitale is not a fan of that idea, nor the concept as a whole.

While the Rays have had major attendance issues and need a change, this is a reminder that a plan like the one proposed might not resolve things so much as agitate it further.

Dick Vitale complains about college 3-point line after Villanova dominates

Dick Vitale

Villanova set a Final Four record in its dominating win over Kansas on Saturday night, and Dick Vitale is hoping that record is one that is never matched or broken in the future.

The Wildcats punched their ticket to the NCAA championship game by attempting a whopping 40 3-pointers and converting 18 of them. After the game, Vitale called for the 3-point line to be pushed back and the lane to be widened to encourage more inside play.

Vitale later elaborated during his appearance on “SportsCenter” and in an Instagram post.

“…firmly believe the rules committee MUST MOVE 3 pt line back to International line 22’1 “/ also widen lane from 12’ to 16’ the game is too boring / just running to the line & shooting 30 / 40 3’s / need more cutting / driving,” he wrote.

Villanova only hit 4 of 24 three-pointers in its Elite Eight win over Texas Tech, so obviously the Wildcats are able to beat teams in other ways. And on Saturday, even the Lawrence Police took shots at the Jayhawks over how poorly they were shooting from the field. Still, Vitale isn’t the only one who feels the 3-pointer has become too big of a part of the college game. Pushing the line back might help limit some of that.