Watch: Legendary NCAA Commentator All Teared Up After Emotional Comeback Fighting Cancer

Famous college basketball announcer Dick Vitale could not hold back his tears as he made his courtside return on Tuesday night. The 82-year-old announced last month about his diagnosis with lymphoma and that he would undergo six months of chemotherapy. Lymphoma is a cancer of the Lymphatic system which requires chemotherapy.

Dick Vitale was diagnosed with lymphoma last month and took a break for treatment

Tonight, the 82-year-old made his return to call Gonzaga vs. UCLA

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 24, 2021

I didn’t want to cry. I can’t believe I’m sitting here. This is really a big thrill for me,” Vitale said before the game between UCLA Bruins and Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Who is Dick Vitale?

Richard John Vitale or Dick Vitale is the face of college basketball sportscasting. He joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season right after the network’s 1979 launch. Vitale was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 after being named a finalist for 3 years.

Vitale once said, “I learned from my mom and dad, who didn’t have a formal education, but had doctorates of love. They told me that if you gave 110 percent all the time, a lot of beautiful things will happen. I may not always be right, but no one can ever accuse me of not having a genuine love and passion for whatever I do. And ESPN has been grateful enough to recognize this.”

Vitale has been a columnist for many journals, namely Basketball Times and USA Today, and has been a guest on virtually every sports radio station across the United States. Before becoming an announcer, Vitale was a basketball coach for the University of Detroit (1973-77). His team went on a famous 21-game winning streak in the NCAA tournament during the 1977 season. 

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Vitale in Popular Culture

Vitale has a unique commentary style with some phrases becoming household names. “Awesome, Baby!”, “Get a TO, Baby!” and “Maalox Time” (the final minutes of a close game) were just some of his iconic phrases. Dickie V is a popular figure outside of sports.

He has made several cameos in movies as himself: Hoop Dreams (1994 award-winning documentary), He Got Game, and The Sixth Man to name a few. Vitale has also authored nine books, adding to his illustrious career. Vitale was named in ‘Sport’s Five Most Influential Personalities of 1983’ by Basketball Times, less than four years after entering the industry.

It’s truly heartwarming to see the legend back doing what he does best. 

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