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Cancer free, baby! College basketball announcer Dick Vitale gets clean bill of health

Cancer free, baby! College basketball announcer Dick Vitale gets clean bill of health after lymphoma remission and the 83-year-old hoops icon thanks his fans for their prayers

  • ESPN college basketball announcer Dick Vitale is cancer free, he’s revealed
  • The hoops icon had been in remission since February after an October diagnosis
  • He previously beat melanoma in 2021 before being diagnosed with lymphoma 

Dick Vitale is cancer free, baby.

The beloved college basketball announcer and former coach revealed the good news on Twitter Wednesday evening. It’s the second time he’s beaten cancer in the past year, following a melanoma battle last August that involved six months of chemotherapy. Doctors discovered lymphoma in October, causing him to miss most of the 2021-22 season, but he had been in remission since February. 

He returned briefly for an ESPN broadcast of a highly-anticipated Gonzaga-UCLA game in November, but then took a leave of absence while he received treatment for vocal cord dysplasia.

Vitale also used the moment to request donations for his upcoming gala, which is aimed at raising money to fight children’s cancer.  

Dick Vitale is cancer free, baby. The beloved college basketball announcer and former coach revealed the good news on Twitter Wednesday evening. It's the second time he's beaten cancer in the past year, following a melanoma battle last August that involved six months of chemotherapy. Doctors discovered lymphoma in October, causing him to miss most of the 2021-22 season, but he had been in remission since February

Vitale is pictured during a recent hospital visit

Dick Vitale is cancer free, baby. The beloved college basketball announcer and former coach revealed the good news on Twitter Wednesday evening. It’s the second time he’s beaten cancer in the past year, following a melanoma battle last August that involved six months of chemotherapy. Doctors discovered lymphoma in October, causing him to miss most of the 2021-22 season, but he had been in remission since February

As always, Vitale thanked his many fans for their thoughts and prayers

As always, Vitale thanked his many fans for their thoughts and prayers 

‘Dr Rick Brown just notified me with my results of my major Pet Scan & told me news I wish EVERY cancer patient can hear,’ the 83-year-old Vitale tweeted. ‘He said ‘Dick u have gone from being in remission to being CANCER FREE’ ! Thank u to ALL of YOU that have sent me [prayers].’

College basketball fans were overjoyed at the ‘wonderful news,’ as one described it. 

‘Hell yes Dickie!!’ tweeted reporter Molly Knight. ‘You are an inspiration and you give people hope.’ 

‘Amazing news Dick!! So very happy for you and your family!!’ added ESPN’s Kevin Connors. 

One fan referenced former North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano, Vitale’s close friend and ESPN colleague who died from cancer in 1993 shortly after delivering a famous speech at the network’s ESPY Awards.  

‘Jimmy V is grinning ear to ear right now, his foundation helped fund the research to save numerous lives including his best friend,’ wrote the fan. 

Former NC State coach Jim Valvano, who lost his battle with cancer in 1993

Former NC State coach Jim Valvano, who lost his battle with cancer in 1993

Valvano and Vitale relaxing at Vitale's home on November 20, 1992 in Sarasota, Florida

Valvano and Vitale relaxing at Vitale’s home on November 20, 1992 in Sarasota, Florida

Vitale was equally emotional in October when discussing his second cancer diagnosis in December. 

‘I am an eternal optimist who acts like he’s a teenager,’ Vitale said during an on-air address. ‘Yet there is no doubt these past five months have been emotionally and physically frustrating. 

‘I will continue to provide updates as I go along, and I am firm in my belief that I will win this battle and be back doing what I love – calling games at courtside next season. In the meantime, I will enjoy all the great games from my living room and savor the love of my marvelous family.’

A former head coach at the University of Detroit from 1973 until 1977 who went on to coach the NBA’s Pistons for two seasons, the New Jersey native joined ESPN shortly after the network’s launch in 1979.

Since then, he has become synonymous with college basketball, coining terms like ‘diaper dandy’ (a good freshman player) and ‘PTPer’ (prime-time player) while helping to popularize the sport from coast to coast.

He was inducted into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the NCAA Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

Vitale has also raised money for cancer research through The V Foundation, which is named for Valvano. 

A former head coach at the University of Detroit from 1973 until 1977 who went on to coach the NBA's Pistons for two seasons, the New Jersey native joined ESPN shortly after the network's launch in 1979

A former head coach at the University of Detroit from 1973 until 1977 who went on to coach the NBA’s Pistons for two seasons, the New Jersey native joined ESPN shortly after the network’s launch in 1979

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