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40 Years – and Counting – Of Dick Vitale’s Incredible Impact on College Basketball

The O.G. PTPer, Dickie V made his ESPN debut Dec. 5, 1979. Enjoy a brief retrospective in this video.

Dick Vitale called his first game with ESPN on Dec. 5, 1979, shortly after the company’s Sept. 7 launch.

Forty years later, Vitale is a college basketball icon, whose mere presence in an arena signifies a game’s magnitude and sends fans into a frenzy. Through it all, Vitale has always remembered his roots and has become a passionate fundraiser in the fight to end cancer.

“Forty years! It blows my mind,” Vitale said. “I remember walking in doing that first game, and it seems like yesterday. I can’t believe how 40 years have just flown by. It’s been a journey that’s exceeded any dream I ever had. I owe so much of my career to all the beautiful people at ESPN and the incredible college basketball fans.”

Enjoy a brief retrospective in the video above, depicting some of Vitale’s adventures throughout his 40 years – and counting – at ESPN.

Shelby L. Lacy and Anna Negron produced the video above.

From December 1984: Dick Vitale (L) and Jim Simpson call the action at a college basketball game. (Dan Helms/ESPN Images)
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