Legendary basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale, 82, says he's cancer-free

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Talk about awesome, baby.

Dick Vitale, the face and voice of college basketball for decades, announced Tuesday that he is cancer free, more than four months after he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

Vitale, 82, the former head coach at University of Detroit and the Detroit Pistons before he went into broadcasting, shared the news on Twitter.

Dick Vitale

"My MARCH MADNESS starts with a W baby!" Vitale wrote on Twitter.

Vitale said he had scan and blood work Tuesday morning, and got a call from his doctors early in the afternoon saying that his latest scans came back clean.

This marks the second time Vitale has beaten cancer in the past year. Last summer, he was diagnosed with melanoma, but was treated and cleared. He said when announcing his lymphoma diagnosis that it was expected to be a tougher battle.

He has kept his fans and followers updated on his health through regular social-media posts, as he's undergone several rounds of chemotherapy.

Vitale has continued to broadcast for ESPN when his health and doctor-appointment schedule allowed.

"I consider myself very lucky," Vitale wrote on ESPN.com in October after the diagnosis. "I’ve seen firsthand the devastation that cancer can have on families, on children, and on all of our loved ones. It can bring you to your knees. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting. It robs you of so many things, including life itself for some of the most unfortunate patients. I never lose sight of that, and that’s why I feel so lucky.

"I WILL DO EVERY THING IN MY POWER TO WIN THIS BATTLE!"

Vitale has been a tireless advocate for cancer research, particularly in regard to children. He hosts an annual fundraising gala, which has raised more than $40 million for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. The 2021 gala raised $6.5 million.

Vitale has been at ESPN for more than 40 years. From 1978-79, he coached the Pistons, and he was head coach at the University of Detroit from 1973-77. The court at Detroit Mercy's Calihan Hall is named after Vitale, a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984