Dick Vitale Reveals Battle With Melanoma Earlier This Year

Dick Vitale just shared some scary news when it comes to his health. In a post from ESPN Front Row, the basketball legend revealed that he battled melanoma earlier this year. Vitale said that due to early detection, he is now cancer-free.

"My beautiful wife Lorraine and I recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary by traveling with our extended family to our country's 50th state – Hawaii," Vitale wrote. "It was Awesome Baby; I was riding high. Then came the scary news: a diagnosis that some skin they removed from above my nose had tested positive for melanoma. My heart sank."

Vitale continued: "On June 28, I went for my first surgery to have the growth removed from above my nose. It helped that we caught it early, and I was thrilled to learn it hadn't spread. The bottom line is they removed all cancer cells, and I was relieved, big time, to be cancer clear." Vitale, 82, went on to say that he had "four additional procedures" to fix the areas on his face. He is getting ready to start his 43rd season calling college basketball games for ESPN.

"If you take nothing else away from my personal cancer story, please remember this – DON'T WASTE TIME!" Vitale stated. "Specifically, if you notice any kind of growth, mole or skin abnormality, please get yourself checked out immediately. It's important. I want to deliver that message loud and clear. I'm lucky."

Vitale joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season just after the network launched in September 1979. Before joining ESPN, Vitale was the head coach at the University of Detroit and the Detroit Piston of the NBA. In his final season at the University of Detroit, Vitale led the team to a 26-3 record and a trip to the Sweet 16.


Vitale called ESPN's first major college basketball game - Wisconsin at DePaul on Dec. 5, 1979. Since then, Vitale has become the face of college basketball for ESPN. "I'm living the American dream," Vitale once said, per his ESPN bio. "I learned from my mom and dad, who didn't have a formal education but had doctorates of love. They told me that if you gave 110 percent all the time, a lot of beautiful things will happen. I may not always be right, but no one can ever accuse me of not having a genuine love and passion for whatever I do. And ESPN has been grateful enough to recognize this."