May 21, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, May 14

For the second straight year, and third time in four years, the Cavaliers got the top pick in the NBA draft by winning the lottery. This time it came at incredible odds, drawing the top pick with just a 1.7 percent chance.

The team stunned everyone by picking Anthony Bennett out of UNLV last year. That choice did not work out very well as Bennett was plagued by injuries.This time around, the Cavaliers have the top choice, but also the pressing matter of finding a head coach. Mike Brown was fired after one season in his latest stint with the team.

We have to wait for over a month until we hear commissioner Adam Silver announce Cleveland’s first choice. Will it by Joel Embiid or Andrew Wiggins of Kansas, Jabari Parker of Duke, Julius Randle of Kentucky, or another shocking selection.If I was Cleveland, I would go with Parker. I feel he is the most NBA-ready player of the elite possibilities. He can score inside or outside, can rebound, defend.

May 17, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, May 14

Sarasota was truly the sports capital of the world on Friday night. The Dickie V gala was held at the Sarasota Ritz-Carlton and there were sports celebrities everywhere as the ballroom was packed.   

It was a special evening as we raised a lot of money for pediatric cancer research for the V Foundation. I cannot thank honorees Mike Brey of Notre Dame, Tom Cream of Indiana and Nick Saban of Alabama for their eloquent speeches. We also had a youngster from Nebraska, Jack Hoffman, along with coach Bo Pellini as we looked back on his battle with brain cancer and his tremendous spring game touchdown from last year. 

We were able to present $250,000 research grants in honor of the Livingston and Holsworth families. They lost their young children to the dreaded disease of cancer. 

There were so many stories of perserverance, youngsters winning the fight against cancer. It was so special to introduce my team of superstar kids to the crowd. 

Thanks to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for introducing me to the crowd, and to John Saunders as emcee of the evening. It was truly a night to remember. Also thanks to Yvette Sherman for singing Wind Beneath My Wings, an amazing performance. 

Kids should not have to go through chemotherapy. They should be out playing ball and enjoying their youth. I am passionate about this fight against cancer and you can still help. For more information, go on my page to the Dickie V gala link.

May 15, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, May 14

I am so thrilled that our gala, raising money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, has been sold out for months.

More than 870 people will be in attendance at the Sarasota (Fla.) Ritz-Carlton on Friday night. That is why Sarasota will be the sports capital of the world for a very special evening.

There will be more than 70 celebrities from the world of sports there. Three special coaches — Nick Saban of Alabama, Mike Brey of Notre Dame and Tom Crean of Indiana — will be honorees. We will also have Nebraska football coach Bo Pellini introducing a special young man, ESPY winner Jack Hoffman. Battling brain cancer, he scored a touchdown at last year’s Nebraska’s spring game.

We will have many inspirational stories of youngsters that have beaten cancer. There will also be a presentation of a grant in honor of Lacey Holsworth, the young lady who meant so much to Michigan State basketball before losing her battle with cancer. Coach Tom Izzo, as well as Lacey’s parents, will be in attendance.

There will be another grant in the name of Eddie Livingston, a youngster from our area who also lost his battle with cancer.

I hope that one day, kids will not have to worry about chemotherapy and will be able to play ball and live normal lives. We have to beat this dreaded disease.

While the event is sold out, you can still help. For details, visit JimmyV.org.

May 13, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, May 14

The NFL draft certainly produced a number of memorable moments.

Jadeveon Clowney was picked by the Houston Texans at number one. He has the potential to make noise at the next level. Blake Bortles was a surprise pick at #3 by Jacksonville.

The Buffalo Bills made a major move by trading up to secure wide receiver Sammy Watkins of Clemson.

I liked the moves made by Tampa Bay, starting with wide receiver Mike Evans of Texas A&M.

The two biggest storylines were Johnny Manziel going to Cleveland at #22 and Michael Sam, the first openly gay player, going to the Rams in the seventh round.

Best of luck to all of the players drafted.

April 30, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 14, Blog

I want to thank the owners of Ed’s Tavern in Lakewood Ranch for opening up their doors and donating 50% of the proceeds from all the sales on food and beverages tonight to the V Foundation.  The money raised will go towards a research grant that I am putting together in memory of Lacey Holsworth.  I appreciate the community support and the big turnout.  I can’t thank Albert Myara and Bob Bender for their genoriusty and for making the event happen.  I want to sincerely thank Mary Kenealy and Janet Allen for taking time to make certain that the event was done in a first class fashion.    I had a chance to speak to the crowd and share some of my thoughts.  We must all unite and work together to beat this dreaded diease.

April 26th, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 14, Blog

I had a great time speaking for Clockwork Home Services at their convention at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando.

VP Rick Yohn gave me a wonderful introduction to over 500 in attendance. Karen Pensoneau represented Clockwork Home Services so well. I discussed the game of life and was thrilled when I received a standing ovation from the crowd. Clockwork Home Services in involved in air conditioning, plumbing and other services and I was impressed by their people.

Friday was also a special day for Big Blue Nation. With Aaron and Andrew Harrison returning to Lexington, John Calipari has a boatload of talent.

April 15th, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 14, Blog

I was thrilled to be the keynote speaker for the Express Pros Refresh Leadership Conference in Thousand Oaks, CA.  It was an honor to share the microphone with corporate giants like John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, and motivational speaker Christine Cashen.  It was unbelievable to know the event was on simulcast, with over 8,000 people hearing our comments on leadership.  I shared my views on making it in the game of life.  Talking specifically about my journey from the 6th grade classroom to the Hall of Fame as a basketball analyst and broadcaster.  Bob Funk, CEO and founder of Express Pros, had a vision and a plan three decades ago and today he has had incredible success in building an organization that is one of the best at what it does.

April 9th, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 14, Blog

Storrs, Connecticut is the college basketball capital of the world.

One night after the Huskies men won the championship in Arlington, Texas, the UConn women cut down the nets in Nashville beating Notre Dame.

That gave Geno Auriemma his ninth women’s title, passing legendary Pat Summitt. His team went through the season unblemished again.

Breanna Stewart and Stephanie Dolson dominated inside, while Kelenna Mosqueda-Lewis and Bria Hartley were solid on the perimeter. Throw in Mariah Jefferson’s speed and you have a perfect starting five.

Congrats to the fans in Connecticut, winning both titles for the second time ever. The first time was a decade before.

April 8th, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 14, Blog

Congrats to Kevin Ollie and the UCONN Huskies. What an amazing story, a program not eligible for the NCAA tournament last season, cutting down the nets at AT&T Stadium.

Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright would not be denied, combining for 36 points. They were so disruptive on the defensive end when UCONN raced to a 30-15 lead.

Free throws were a big story. The Huskies were 10-for-10, while the Cats were 13/24.

I was surprised Connecticut out rebounded Kentucky.

Congrats to the Huskies, national champions!

April 6th 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in April 14, Blog

A 7th and 8th seed will play for the national championship on Monday night.

Connecticut did a masterful defensive job in snapping Florida’s 30-game win streak. DeAndre Daniels was outstanding with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Scottie Wilbekin was held in check, scoring just four points. Florida had just three assists and shot one-of-10 on trifectas.

Kentucky pulled out another thriller on a late three-pointer by Aaron Harrison. Traevon Jackson missed a last-second shot for the Badgers. Alex Poythress was vital on both ends of the court for Big Blue Nation.