ESPN’s most popular college basketball broadcaster returned to the booth for the 2021-22 season. He’s back, baby!
Dick Vitale, 82, called for the highly anticipated Gonzaga-UCLA match on Tuesday, appearing on a game broadcast for the first time since being diagnosed with lymphoma in October. This year marks his 42nd season featuring commentary for ESPN.
When Vitale was first shown on Tuesday night’s broadcast, he struggled to hold back his tears as he spoke.
“I don’t want to cry. I can’t believe I’m sitting here. It’s really a big thrill for me,” Vitale said. “I want to thank all of you who have sent me so many wonderful messages.”
Vitale was overjoyed when the doctors sent him on a trip to Las Vegas for the Empire Classic match between the two top teams in the country. He calls it “the potion of sitting flirting,” according to Yahoo Sports.
While preparing for the match, Vitale had to contact the coaches by phone because his doctors would not allow him to attend the gunfights. He’s changed his pregnancy routine, and he can still prepare a scouting report before tipoff.
Vitale has been vocal about his battle with cancer since he was diagnosed in October. He regularly tweets updates on his condition and fans always send him warm messages. pressure and encourage him to keep fighting.
Just final preparations for the game @espn 10 EST #1 GONZAGA – #2 UCLA – honestly on October 12th when I was diagnosed with cancer I never thought I would be by your side tonight/you ❤️❤️❤️ helped so much much. To ALL of you in any battle “Never believe the impossible”! pic.twitter.com/ty1rszeAp1
– Dick Vitale (@DickieV) November 23, 2021
Vitale hasn’t said if he’ll continue to announce games this season, but college basketball fans will take advantage of any opportunity they get to hear Dickie V on the call. .