Dick Vitale Makes Emotional Return To College Basketball

It truly was awesome, baby! to have Dick Vitale, 82, once again bantering about diaper dandies and Windex men during a college basketball game. On Tuesday night, Vitale made his first appearance on an ESPN broadcast since he was diagnosed with lymphoma in October.

Just prior to tip off of the Gonzaga-UCLA game, Vitale was welcomed back to TV by his broadcast partner Dave O’Brien. And then someone began cutting onions…

O’Brien said that he knew Dickie V had this game “circled for a long, long time” and that it was “just awesome” to see him back in the arena.

Per the ESPN broadcast, a tearful and emotional Vitale responded, “It’s great to be here, Dave. I didn’t want to cry. I can’t believe I’m sitting here.”

Fighting off tears, Vitale continued: “This is really a big thrill for me. I want to thank all who sent me so many great messages, [ESPN president] Jimmy Pitaro, all my buddies at ESPN. I want to thank certainly my family and all the fans. My, you have been unbelievable.”

Vitale’s now in his 43rd season calling college basketball games for the Worldwide Leader. He’s currently undergoing chemotherapy to treat his lymphoma diagnosis, which came just months after he had undergone surgery for melanoma over the summer.

“I never dreamt at 82 that I’d ever be court side again,” said Vitale before apologizing for his emotions.

O’Brien spoke for all of America when he put his arm around the basketball legend and told him, “Don’t apologize for anything. You’re the best.”

Top-ranked Gonzaga put on quite a show in Dickie V’s return, besting second-ranked UCLA 83-63. As impressive as the win was, we can all agree that Tuesday’s PTPer was the guy wearing the suit, not the sneakers.


Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF



Written by Anthony Farris

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