SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — Nearly a month after announcing his second cancer diagnosis, and days after receiving chemo treatment, longtime ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale has been given clearance by his doctors to return for his 43rd college basketball season, the sports network announced.
According to ESPN, Vitale will once again be courtside on Tuesday, Nov. 23, to call a game between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 UCLA in the Good Sam Empire Classic.
Vitale had been receiving treatment for his lymphoma at Sarasota Memorial Hospital's new Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute Oncology Tower. Earlier this week he teased that doctors may give him the OK to call games between his treatments.
"At this point and time in Dick’s medical care, we feel it is safe for him to travel," said Sarasota Memorial Hospital's Dr. Richard Brown, the medical oncologist overseeing Vitale's cancer treatment.
"Although a cancer diagnosis can be challenging at times, with Dick and specifically his passion for sports, we feel it is best for him to continue doing what he loves most, calling games and being Dick Vitale," Brown said.
“My family and I are absolutely jumping with joy,” Vitale said in a statement. “Knowing I’ll be courtside with all my buddies and calling Number 1 versus 2, this is the best medicine I could ask for. To all of you, I simply say ‘thank you from the bottom of my heart’ for your prayers and messages, phone calls and texts."
In an article written for ESPN Front Row, Vitale in October explained that earlier this summer, he went through several procedures to remove melanoma. But now, he says he has lymphoma in an unrelated diagnosis.
Doctors plan to treat Vitale, who lives in Lakewood Ranch, with steroids and six months of chemotherapy. According to him, his doctors have told him the treatment has a 90-percent cure rate.