Dickie V returning to ESPN for showdown between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 UCLA Nov. 23 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / December 8.
  • Dickie V returning to ESPN for showdown between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 UCLA Nov. 23

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    Dickie V is back baby!

    One month after being diagnosed with lymphoma and three months after undergoing surgeries to remove melanoma, ESPN Hall of Fame college basketball analyst Dick Vitale will return to call the first game of his 43rd season on Tuesday, Nov. 23 featuring No. 1 Gonzaga vs No. 2 UCLA in the Good Sam Empire Classic, ESPN announced Thursday. Vitale will be alongside Dave O’Brien at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the 10 p.m. ET tipoff on ESPN.

    Vitale is the midst of a treatment plan that includes six months of chemotherapy, which began earlier this month.

    “My family and I are absolutely jumping with joy,” said Vitale. “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. They gave me energy and lifted me up at time that is not fun city – chemo for six months. To my ESPN family, starting with Jimmy Pitaro – I love you all. I’m so proud to start my 43rd year on Tuesday. Lastly, to the fans – you have given me a career that has exceeded any dream I’ve ever had.” 

    “Given all that he’s going through, this is especially meaningful for Dick to be back calling games,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said. “He has our full support, and we can’t wait to hear his unmistakable combination of energy and insight on this highly anticipated matchup of the nation’s top two teams.”

    Dickie V’s doctors gave him the go-ahead.

    “At this point and time in Dick’s medical care, we feel it is safe for him to travel. Although a cancer diagnosis can be challenging at times, with Dick and specifically his passion for sports, we feel it is best for him to continue doing what he loves most, calling games and being Dick Vitale,” said Richard Brown, Medical Director of Sarasota Memorial’s and Brian D. Jellison of the Cancer Institute and a Medical Oncologist.

    (Release via ESPN)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.