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Return of The PTPer: Dick Vitale Gets His Doctor’s OK To Start His 43rd Season at ESPN

After undergoing treatment for lymphoma and melanoma, Vitale will be on the call of No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 2 UCLA Tuesday night on ESPN

Dick Vitale flashes thumbs up from his hospital bed; expect to see him leading the band Tuesday night on ESPN. (Dick Vitale’s Instagram feed/Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images)

One month after being diagnosed with lymphoma and three months after undergoing surgeries to remove melanoma, ESPN’s Hall of Fame college basketball analyst Dick Vitale will return to call the first game of his 43rd season on Tuesday, Nov. 23 featuring No. 1 Gonzaga vs No. 2 UCLA in the Good Sam Empire Classic.

Vitale will be alongside Dave O’Brien at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the 10 p.m. ET tipoff on ESPN.

Vitale is in the midst of a treatment plan that includes six months of chemotherapy, which began earlier this month.

“My family and I are absolutely jumping with joy,” said Vitale. “Knowing I’ll be courtside with all my buddies and calling Number 1 versus 2, this is the best medicine I could ask for. To all of you, I simply say ‘thank you from the bottom of my heart’ for your prayers and messages, phone calls and texts.

“They gave me energy and lifted me up at a time that is not fun city – chemo for six months. To my ESPN family, starting with Jimmy Pitaro – I love you all. I’m so proud to start my 43rd year on Tuesday. Lastly, to the fans – you have given me a career that has exceeded any dream I’ve ever had.”

Given all that he’s going through, this is especially meaningful for Dick to be back calling games. He has our full support, and we can’t wait to hear his unmistakable combination of energy and insight on this highly anticipated matchup of the nation’s top two teams.” – Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content

At this point and time in Dick’s medical care, we feel it is safe for him to travel. Although a cancer diagnosis can be challenging at times, with Dick and specifically his passion for sports, we feel it is best for him to continue doing what he loves most, calling games and being Dick Vitale. – Richard Brown, MD, Medical Director of Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial’s Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute and Medical Oncologist overseeing Dick Vitale’s cancer treatment



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A post shared by Dick Vitale (@dickiev_espn)



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A post shared by Dick Vitale (@dickiev_espn)

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