Longtime ESPN college basketball announcer Dick Vitale announced on Monday that he had been diagnosed with cancer, marking his second diagnosis in about three months.
Vitale, who fully recovered after surgery to remove melanoma in August, said he had been diagnosed with lymphoma. Vitale will begin treatment with steroids and six months of chemotherapy and, while he said doctors told him it has a 90% success rate, he knows it “is going to be a lot tougher” to beat.
“I consider myself very lucky,” Vitale wrote. “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.”
Thanks so much to all of you for your prayers and support as I plan on fighting with all my heart to win this battle. Please know I appreciate so much that you care. https://t.co/kw7y2oeywI
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) October 18, 2021
Vitale, 82, said he will continue to work this season around his chemo schedule.
Vitale, after a brief playing and coaching career, joined ESPN for the 1979-80 college basketball season right after the network first launched. He called the first ever college basketball game on the network that year, and has been a staple in college basketball ever since.
Vitale was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
“I am lucky and blessed to have a great team of medical experts along with wonderful family support,” he wrote. “I am also blessed to work with so many in my second family, ESPN. They have been so encouraging over the past three weeks as I’ve undergone one test after another in trying to analyze what was causing my symptoms.
“If you see me, please just give me a fist bump and say a prayer that I can return from being 82 years old to acting like I’m 12. Thanks so much for your love.”