May 18th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, May 2016

The Philadelphia 76ers did not win many games during the 2015-16 season, but they did win the draft lottery.

Form held true and the Sixers got the top pick, followed by the Lakers and Celtics. It will be interesting to see if LSU’s Ben Simmons goes number one, or if Duke’s Brandon Ingram earns that honor. I am sure the Lakers would be happy to have either one.

It will get very interesting with Boston’s pick at number three. The draft has good talent coming into the league, so it should be fun to watch the next wave of impact players.

May 16th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, May 2016

Friday night in Sarasota, Florida was very special. The Ritz-Carlton was the sports capital of the world. The 11th annual Dickie V gala raised over $2.5 million for pediatric cancer research.

Our honorees, Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and former Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan all have passionate speeches about how cancer has affected their lives. Roberts is a cancer survivor who publicly detailed her fight against the dreaded disease.

Everywhere you turned, there were stars from the world of sports, of television, or media. I cannot thank everyone enough.

Jim Harbaugh, Nik Wallenda, Jon Gruden, Nick Bollettieri, Brian Roberts. College basketball was well represented with numerous coaches, including Kentucky’s John Calipari, Mike Brey of Notre Dame, Steve Alford of UCLA, Sean Miller of Arizona, Frank Martin of South Carolina, West Virginia’s Bob Huggins, Bruce Pearl of Auburn, Leonard Hamilton of Florida State, Orlando Antigua of South Florida, and Dave Pilipovich of Air Force.

It was an evening filled with passion and emotion. We gave two $200,000 grants for cancer research in honor of the late Julia Mount, a multi-talented youngster who recently lost her battle with cancer, and Chad Carr. Former Michigan football coach lloyd Carr spoke on behalf of the family.

For those who wonder if cancer research can make a difference, we presented our All-Courageous team, 10 children who have survived and resumed more normal activities. These youngsters are so special and have been through so much.

Cancer has affected so many. It affects the kids and the families. That is why I am so passionate in this fight. I have seen so many people hurt in this battle. I have also seen the positives. We must continue to raise money for research to discover more breakthroughs.

My friends, it was total teamwork raising those kind of dollars. I cannot thank the sponsors enough. I cannot thank Mary Kenealy, Janet Allen and their team that helps run the event. Then there are the celebrities, who pay their own way to the Ritz-Carlton for a special evening.

Jimmy V said, “don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” I will fight until my last breath to help these children. You can help in the fight against cancer too. Call 1-800-4-JIMMYV. Donate and help us win this war.

April 29th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 2016, Blog

I want to say a thank you to all the contributors and volunteers who made the 2nd Annual Dick Vitale Telethon a major success. We raised over $131,000 for pediatric cancer that will go towards the V Foundation for cancer research.

Huge thanks to Phil Lombardo and Ray Cole of SNN TV enough for making this event happen. They did a fantastic job! Also a big thanks to the SNN staff for their contributions.

It was a super event that was really well planned and well done!

I can`t thank Mary Kenealy of Mary Kenealy events and her team enough. They did a fabulous job of making sure this event went off without a hitch and that something positive was happening each hour.

Thank you to every single contributor, whether $10 or $10K. Thank you to Buster Posey, former All American of Florida State, and now a super star of the San Francisco Giants, who called from New York and made a major contribution!

Thank you to all, as it was another move in a positive direction to helping children battling cancer.

April 29th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 2016

The first round of the NFL draft had its share of interesting moments.

QBs went 1-2 as Jared Goff of California went to the Rams while Carson Wentz landed with the Eagles. Joey Bosa went third to the Chargers, who needed a pass rusher. Ezekiel Elliott went to Dallas fourth.

Leremy Tunsil, the OL from Mississippi who was supposed to be a top10 pick, fell to 13th to the Dolphins. Ohio State had five players go in round one. Alabama saw a number of highly-regarded prospects slip through the first round, with Ryan Kelly going 18th.

It will take time to evaluate how teams did in the first round. It is still fun to speculate right now.

April 26th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 2016

The Cleveland Cavaliers had to work hard to eliminate the Detroit Pistons. It was a sweep, but three of the four games were competitive.

LeBron James had some help in the series. Kyrie Irving showed flashes of brilliance. Kevin Love had positive moments, especially in game one.

The Cavs are the favorites in the East. I don’t see anyone in the conference beating them. The Pistons were tough, and Stan Van Gundy’s team will learn from this series.

April 8th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 2016

I was absolutely thrilled as I was honored by the New Jersey Hall of Fame and inducted on April 7th at the Paramount Theater located at Convention Hall in Asbury Park. It was an incredible event hosted by Joe Piscopo of Saturday Night Live. He did a fantastic job with a first class program.

I was introduced by my friend John Saunders from ESPN and it was a night I will always treasure. It was filled with tons of memories as my family and friends gathered for this special vacation.

Thank you to the New Jersey Hall of Fame for allowing me to be a part of such a great class including Derek Jeter of the NY Yankees, Christie Rampone, Captain of the USA Soccer Team,John Stewart of Comedy Central, Cool and the Gang, and a host of other outstanding people.

It was an honor to be inducted into a great group of outstanding people!

April 3rd, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 2016

We had two blowouts in the national semifinals here in Houston Saturday.

The first game was stunning as Villanova blew out Oklahoma by 44, 95-51. Who would have believed that, especially since the Sooners had a huge victory over the Wildcats back on December 7 in Hawaii. Saturday’s game was the opposite as Villanova used a variety of players to stop Buddy Hield, who had just nine points. Josh Hart was brilliant for the “cats wit 23 big points. Oklahoma made a second-half surge and cut the margin to 46-37 when Hart made a big basket and drew a foul. That game the Wildcats the momentum again and it was off to the races.

North Carolina took care of business, beating Syracuse in the other semifinal. Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meekks were too much inside for the Orange,. Carolina also dominated on the glass and Syracuse struggled on the foul line.

We should have a great game in the finals Monday night.

April 2nd, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 2016

I have had a great time here at the Final Four in Houston.

Last night, I enjoyed two speaking engagements, representing UPS and Allstate. The latter one also included Texas coach Shaka Smart and we talked about today’s two national semifinals. He had a great point in discussing Buddy Hield. He described him as a volcano, capable of erupting at any time.

I love representing two outstanding companies, UPS and Allstate. The March Mayhem bracket challenge comes down to today. If Oklahoma beats Villanova, Buzz Aldrin and I will be tied.

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March 28th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in March 2016

The Final Four is set and Houston has four squads with great experience. Each has a solid coach who has been to the Final Four before.

Jay Wright vs. Lon Kruger and Jim Boeheim vs. Roy Williams. There is so much talent on the court. Buddy Hield. Brice Johnson. Ryan Arcidiacono, Malachi Richardson.

I cannot wait to get to Houston. I will be calling a semifinal and the championship game for ESPN International with Sean McDonough.

My pick to cut down the nets: North Carolina over Oklahoma.

March 15th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in March 2016

I had a great time on Tuesday in Houston, the city that will host the Final Four in a few weeks.

I went up against an American legend, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, in the Allstate March Mayhem Challenge. In past years, they put me up against dolphins, a longhorn and even a groundhog.

My friends, this year’s competition will be tough. Buzz Aldrin is a smart man, and he made some great picks. Everybody loves the brackets, baby! You can follow and see who wins by following #MarchMayhem on twitter.com