ESPN’s Vitale kicks off the celebration of his cancer freedom

Longtime college basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale celebrates after completing chemotherapy at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida

Dick Vitale smiled. “Hey, ring the bell baby,” he said. “Ring that bell.”

Vitale, 82, said in the fall he was diagnosed with lymphoma, months after undergoing multiple surgeries to remove the melanoma. He has charted his treatments and recovery on social media, posting photos of doctor visits and hospitalizations and sharing motivational tips that were recorded before he was put on vocal rest.

Vitale has been with ESPN since 1979, the year the network was founded. He called ESPN’s first college basketball show.

For almost as long as Vitale has been a part of college basketball, he’s battled cancer. He helped his friend Jim Valvano onto the ESPYs stage, where Valvano delivered his iconic “Don’t Give Up” speech.

A prominent fundraiser for childhood cancer research, Vitale is planning its 17th annual Dick Vitale Gala in Sarasota in early May. The event raised more than $50 million for the V Foundation for Cancer Research.


More AP college basketball: and ESPN’s Vitale kicks off the celebration of his cancer freedom

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