After accepting the Jimmy V Award at ESPYS, Dick Vitale delivers an emotional speech
After being honored by Jimmy V Foundation, Dick Vitale gave an emotional speech.
The long-time ESPN college basketball voice was diagnosed with lymphoma in October. This came months after he was first diagnosed with melanoma. Vitale was later diagnosed with dysplasia, and had to stop speaking for several weeks after surgery.
At 83, he is cancer-free and was presented with the Jimmy V Award of Perseverance at Wednesday’s 2022 ESPY Awards at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater. Vitale stressed the importance to donate to cancer research through organizations like the Jimmy V Foundation, named after Jim Valvano (former North Carolina State coach) who died from cancer in 1993.
He said, “We’re not going to stop, we won’t stop chasing our dream of raising money.” Jimmy had a dream to beat cancer. It doesn’t discriminate, so we have to do it. It is there after all.”
Vitale, who was close to Valvano, shared some memories of his time in hospital. He also recalled how many messages he received from his colleagues at ESPN, as well as so many former college basketball coaches. Vitale noted that Rick Barnes, Texas’ head coach, would send him a personal prayer each day. Vitale stated that “that love, and that caring have me standing here today,” and asked for others to do the same.
Vitale stated, “If you know someone who is battling cancer, send that message, extend your prayers.” “It was the messages that lifted me up when I was most down. It happened so many times. It gave me so much strength to be able to say, “I beat this.” Jimmy’s words echo in my head: “Don’t lose heart, don’t give-up.”