Hall of Fame college basketball announcer Dick Vitale has revealed that his vocal chord cancer ‘is gone’ but has delayed his return to the broadcast booth.
‘While I’m disappointed with the latest developments, I remain hopeful,’ Vitale said in an emotional statement on Monday.
‘The cancer is gone, which is amazing news, yet the impact of the treatments has taken its toll on my voice and requires more healing.’
The 84-year-old Vitale was diagnosed with vocal cord cancer back in July and had hoped to return to work in November after several months of treatment and rest. A new targeted return date was not given.
‘With the season started, I am jumping out of my shoes to be back in the college basketball arenas, calling the game I love and being around so many great colleagues and fans,’ Vitale said.
Dick Vitale has announced that his vocal cord cancer is gone but has delayed his return
Vitale has been a foundational peace of ESPN’s college basketball coverage since it’s inception
Since 1979 his catchphrase ‘awesome baby’ has become perhaps the most known in the sport
‘I have to listen to the medical experts, who have been so good to me, and with some more rest, I know I will be back for my 45th season. I’ve been so touched by the amazing response I’ve received.’
He also posted two images of himself on X with doctors along with an update saying: ‘Speech therapists Amy & Michelle r helping me recover from the cancer & 35 radiation treatments on my vocal cords.
‘Great news radiation wiped out the cancer but has affected my vocal cords – problem clears up so I can get the BEST MEDICINE of all -Sitting at courtside.’
Vitale has become a foundational voice of ESPN’s college basketball coverage after calling the network’s first broadcast back in 1979.
‘Dick has the full support of his entire ESPN family, and, while we look forward to a return to his rightful courtside perch, he needs to focus on fully mending his vocal cords,’ ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.
‘Sports fans everywhere will anxiously await his comeback whenever he is ready.’
Vital was previously diagnosed with lymphoma in 2021 months after having several surgeries to remove melanoma.