’s termination may well have been karma as it left him in a position to join an upstart little television enterprise called ESPN in 1979. He now jokes about thinking at the time, “You kidding me, what is ESPN? Sounds like a disease, man!” But as things would play out, he was part of the very first college basketball game ever aired by the network: No. 1 DePaul (with Coach Ray Meyer and All-American Mark Aguirre) versus intra-state rival Wisconsin. Nobody could have imagined at the time – most of all Dick – that he would go on to work thousands of games and became a household name due to his colorful style, crazy antics, and genuine passion. In real life, Dick is exactly the same as his TV persona: a “slam, bam, jam” kind of a guy. His genuine exuberance for all facets of the game of basketball and, especially, for people from all walks of life is the cornerstone of his success.
The 13th Annual Dick Vitale Gala in May 2018 was a sold-out affair featuring honorees Mike Greenberg, ESPN television and radio personality; Leonard Hamilton, Florida State University Head Men’s Basketball Coach; and Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan Head Football Coach. Greenberg and his wife, Stacy, co-authored a children’s book, MVP: Most Valuable Puppy, and agreed to donate 100% of their proceeds to pediatric cancer research through The V Foundation. Dick also recruits celebrities in his fight against pediatric cancer and those in attendance included all four 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament Final Four Coaches: Jay Wright, Villanova University; John Beilein, University of Michigan; Bill Self, University of Kansas; and Porter Moser, Loyola University Chicago. Other notable personalities in attendance included David Robinson, the newest V Foundation board member and former NBA star; Grant Hill, host of NBA-TV’s NBA Inside Stuff and former NBA star; Shelley Smith and Kevin Negandhi, ESPN talents; Mike Brey, Notre Dame University Men’s Basketball Coach and past Vitale Gala honoree; Tom Crean, University of Georgia Men’s Basketball Coach; and Johnny Dawkins, University of Central Florida Men’s Basketball Coach and former NBA star. “Inspirational – that’s the best word to describe the Vitale Gala,” said Susan Braun, Chief Executive Officer of The V Foundation. “Athletes, coaches, media personalities, business leaders and a host of supporters of the ‘V’ coming together with one purpose: to raise money that funds outstanding research that will help us cure pediatric cancers.” The event raised a record-breaking $3.7 million, bringing the aggregate total raised to help defeat pediatric cancer since the first Dick Vitale Gala in 2006 to just over $25 million.
is a WINNER with a capital ‘W’.
ABC “Good Morning America” Anchor Robin Roberts talks about the inspiration provided by Dick Vitale
ESPN “SportsCenter” Anchor Kevin Negandhi talks about Dick Vitale’s passion for fighting pediatric cancer and his commitment to The V Foundation
What do Michael Jordan & Dick Vitale have in common? 2018 Dick Vitale Gala honoree Mike Greenberg explains…
Vitale by Dick Vitale with Curry Kirkpatrick (Simon and Schuster, 1988)
Dick Vitale’s Living a Dream by Dick Vitale with Dick Weiss (Sports Publishing LLC, 2003)
It’s Awesome, Baby by Dick Vitale with Dick Weiss and Joan Williamson (Ascend Books, 2014)
“Dick Vitale” Retrieved from www.wikipedia.org
Dochterman, Scott (November 5, 2014). “McCafferys recall son’s battle against cancer” Retrieved from www.thegazette.com
Vitale, Dick (November 17, 2014). “The Cauldron: Never Forget What Matters Most” Retrieved from www.medium.com
Vitale, Dick (May 12, 2015). “Gala another success” Retrieved from www.espn.go.com
Fernandes, Doug (May 15, 2015). “Tears and determination at Vitale Gala” Retrieved from www.heraldtribune.com
Church, Bill (May 16, 2015). “Editor: Vitale’s enthusiasm is contagious” Retrieved from www.heraldtribune.com
Auerbach, Nicole (May 20, 2015). “Dick Vitale Gala raises $2.382M for pediatric cancer research” Retrieved from www.usatoday.com
Peterson, Randy (June 22, 2016). “Peterson: Dick Vitale and Gary Thompson – together, they’re battling cancer” Retrieved from www.desmoinesregister.com
Serby, Steve (March 10, 2018). “Dick Vitale on paying players, working at 100 and being awesome with a capital A” Retrieved from www.nypost.com