ESPN’s Dick Vitale Has Cancer for a 4th Time: ‘I Will Win This Battle’

Dick Vitale Shares He Has Cancer Again
Dick Vitale Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

ESPN basketball commentator Dick Vitale has been diagnosed with cancer for a fourth time.

The longtime analyst, 85, shared that doctors found cancer in lymph nodes in his neck via X on Friday, June 28.

“My report on the Biopsy of the Lymph Node in my neck has arrived & it is cancerous. With all the [prayers] I have received & the loving support of my family, friends & @espn colleagues I will win this battle,” he wrote. “Surgery on Tues. will be a success. Thanks for all the prayers.”

In posts to Facebook, Vitale said that the diagnosis was “certainly not the news [he] wanted” but vowed again to beat cancer.

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“Thanks so much to those that have been in my corner,” he wrote. “Means a great deal to me.”

Vitale has been with the “worldwide leader in sports” since ESPN’s earliest days. The former basketball coach joined the network in 1979 after a failed attempt at coaching the Detroit Pistons. He led the Pistons to a 30-52 season the prior and was fired just 12 games into the 1979 season. He took a commentator job with the then-new network, believing it would be a temporary way to make some money while he waited for the offer of another coaching job.

Vitale called ESPN”s first college basketball broadcast and has served as a commentator for ESPN and ABC ever since. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

Vitale was diagnosed with cancer for the first time in 2021, when doctors discovered he had melanoma. Vitale shared that he also had cancer of the lymph nodes later that year. In 2023, Vitale revealed that he had vocal cord cancer. In November, he shared that he was cancer-free.

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The analyst discovered his latest cancer at a routine checkup with his oncologist. During a quarterly full-body scan for cancer, doctors noticed an abnormality in his lymph nodes. An ultrasound and biopsy followed, which confirmed suspicions that the growth was cancerous.

Vitale shared with ESPN PR rep Josh Krulewitz that his latest diagnosis has only inspired him to push harder to raise money for childhood cancer charities.

“These battles have inspired me more than ever to raise [money] for kids battling cancer. Youngsters should not have to deal with what goes into dealing with cancer,” he wrote in a text shared by Krulewitz via social media on Friday. “I am 85 [and] live a blessed life, but kids don’t deserve the frustration of fighting cancer.”