Tuesday, April 18 l 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

International Ballroom

Dick Vitale

College Basketball Analyst,

ABC Sports and ESPN

After joining ESPN during the 1979-80 season, shortly after ESPN’s launch, Vitale called ESPN’s first-ever major NCAA basketball game - Wisconsin at DePaul on Dec. 5, 1979. Since then, he’s called over a thousand games.

He’s been selected for 14 halls of fame, as well as the NSAA Sportscaster of the Year in 2013. In 2008, he received the sport’s ultimate honor when he was selected as an inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Vitale’s thorough knowledge of the game as well as his distinctive voice is well recognized, especially when he throws in some of his “Vitale-isms”, which have taken on a life of their own. Just a few of his many household phrases: “Awesome, baby!”, “diaper dandy” (freshman star), “all-Windex performer” (ferocious rebounder) and “Maalox time” (the final minutes of a close game).

Vitale is also well known for his fight against cancer, both personally and philanthropically. He helped Jim Valvano to the ESPYs stage where Valvano delivered his iconic "Don't give up" speech. Vitale, a prominent fundraiser for children's cancer research, will host the 18th annual Dick Vitale Gala in May 2023. The event has raised more than $55 million for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. But his most important fight against cancer - his own - began in 2021 - with lengthy battles against lymphoma and melanoma. He was able to “Ring the Bell” and announce that he was officially cancer free in spring of 2022.

At the 2022 ESPY Awards, Vitale was honored with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and is the subject of ESPN Films’ namesake documentary “Dickie V,” which chronicles his remarkable life and career. Vitale is also an accomplished author of several books, including It’s Awesome, Baby!: 75 Years of Memories and a Lifetime of Opinions on the Game I Love and Dick Vitale’s Mount Rushmores of College Basketball.