Dick Vitale, the longtime ESPN college basketball broadcaster, will be the recipient of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance on Wednesday night at the ESPYS award ceremony.
Vitale, 82, has undergone multiple surgeries to remove skin cancer, and then last October, he announced he had been diagnosed with lymphoma.
Vitale had chemotherapy treatment for the lymphoma that forced him to step away from ESPN’s college basketball coverage.
“The good news is that he doesn’t believe anything is life-threatening; however, Dr. Zeitels says I have pre-cancerous Dysplasia on the vocal cords,” Vitale said in a December statement. “Bottom line is I need to rest them — my voice needs a T.O., BABY!”
Vitale will be getting the award named for the late Jim Valvano, the former coach and broadcaster who died of cancer in 1993. Vitale and Valvano were friends and broadcast partners.
The award is given to a person “who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination.” Vitale announced in April that he is cancer-free.
Valvano was given the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage Award — named in honor of the tennis great who died from AIDS following a tainted blood transfusion he received during heart surgery. Valvano’s speech the night he received the award, given only weeks before his death, has become a classic.
Vitale can be seen in the clip below helping Valvano to get up the stairs and onto the stage to accept his award.
The ceremony is set for 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday.