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August 22, 2016

The Olympics in Rio are over and it was very exciting. The US dominated the medal count, and there were so many dramatic stories told.

The USA men's and women's basketball teams got the job done and left with gold. The men played one of their best games in dispatching Serbia in the finals. The women dominated against Spain.

This Olympics will be remembered for names like Katie Ledecky, Michiael Phelps, Simone Biles and Usain Bolt. There was a number of other surprises too.

All in all, it was a dramatic Olympics. Now we can concentrate on baseball pennant races, baby!
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August 15th, 2016

The first week of the Olympics is in the books and we have seen a lot of drama, great performances and excitement.

The second week will produce even more action.

We have seen a number of expected stars come through. Michael Phelps was dominant again, finishing his Olympic career (at least for now) with 23 gold medals. Katie Ledecky was also incredible in the pool. Usain Bolt was the world's fastest man, beating Justin Gatlin in the 100 meters. Andy Murray was his second straight gold medal in men's singles.

There was new faces making noise too. Simone Manuel, Maya Dirado and Lilly King shined in swimming. Monica Puig was the surprise gold medal winner in women's tennis.

The biggest early surprise was the US women's soccer team losing to Sweden in the quarterfinals.

It has been fun to see the athletes performing well in Rio.
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August 12th, 2016

Friday will be the final day that Alex Rodriguez wears a Yankee uniform.

Will it be the last time A. Rod. wears a major league uniform?

Despite last week's press conference, Alex could decide to come back with another team to make a run at that special milestone of 700 home runs.

Friday night in the Bronx will be sad in a way. Rodriguez and the Yankees should be celebrating his success. Instead, the team is ending the relationship.

It will be dramatic, that is for sure.
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August 11th, 2016

Today was the 18th Annual Dick Vitale Family Scholarship Day at the Sarasota Boys and Girls Club. We honored 5 recipients with $1000 each.The honorees were Priscilla Angeles, Caylee Lombardi, Alyson Lorefice, Omar Lyons-Davis, and Alex Menese. Each year we give $5000 to outstanding members.

It was a great moment for me as I selected 3 members from the crowd who were intent on listening during my message of "Chasing Your Dreams".

My wife and I love the chance to help these youngsters each year!


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August 10th, 2016

Wednesday was a very tough day.

I was shocked and saddened by the news of the passing of my buddy, John Saunders. He was just 61 years old.

I loved my time working with John. He was such a special person, a family man who cared about others. He was always there to lend a hand to anyone in need. John meant so much to the V Foundation and worked so hard because of his pal, Jimmy Valvano.

John was kind enough to introduce me when I was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. He also was the emcee at my Dickie V gala on numerous occasions and did a terrific job.

He will truly be missed. RIP my friend.

 

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August 8th, 2016

The Olympics are under way and there has been plenty of news already.

The US men's and women's basketball teams won opening games easily. There have been some surprises in men's basketball as Croatia stunned Spain while Australia upset France. Australia's women struggled to beat Turkey.

The US women's soccer team got off to a 2-0 start, advancing to the next round.

Katie Ledecky was dominant in setting and world record in winning a gold Sunday night.

There have been other surprising results. Tennis has seen several shocks, including men's number one Novak Djokovic losing to Juan Martin delPotro of Argentina. Venus Williams was eliminated in singles and doubles.

The games will be in the headlines for the next two weeks, enjoy!
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August 3rd, 2016

The baseball trade deadline has come and gone and there definitely were winners and losers.

Texas did very well by adding Matthew Lucroy from Milwaukee to help with the catching duties. They also got Carlos Beltran, a veteran bat who has enjoyed a super season.

Teams like the Indians, Cubs and Nationals improved their bullpens with good deals.

The Yankees gave an indication that they will not make the playoffs this season, even though they are within 5 1/2 games of the wild card. Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Ivan Nova and Beltran were all sent packing. The good news in the Bronx is the strengthening of the farm system with potential future stars coming in several deals.

The Giants also helped their cause by adding Matt Moore from the Rays. The Mets grabbed Jay Bruce from the Reds. We will have to see how this all pans out.
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July 29th, 2016

I had a blast being a representative of UPS as they put on an incredible event for their employees to help raise dollars for the United Way Campaign. United Way does a great job of making sure they share dOllars with various groups in need.

It was great sharing time with, David Abney, CEO of UPS and Ed Martinez, who heads the UPS Foundation.

I cant thank all the people enough, behind the scenes with UPS, who made my journey to Atlanta very positive. It`s great to see people extending their hand to one another with love in their heart`s.


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July 25th, 2016


USA basketball is getting ready for the Olympics.

The team has played two exhibitions and looked very impressive in wins over Argentina and China. My friends, this American team may not have LeBron James ad Stephen Curry, but this is a very talented team.

I believe this squad is much better than people realize. Kevin Durant may get headlines, but guys like Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson will be factors as well. Let's not forget about the veteran leadership and scoring of Carmelo Anthony.

This team is loaded and Coach K should bring back the gold again!
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July 18th, 2016

It was an interesting weekend in the world of sports.

Phil Mickelson had a great showing at the British Open, but fell just short of winning. His final round of 65 was outstanding, but Henrik Stenson tied a major record with a final round of 63.

The US Davis Cup team looked like it was in great shape after a 2-0 start vs. Croatia. The Bryan Brothers, John Isner and Jack Sock failed to get the clinching win and the Americans were stunned.

Major League Baseball started its second half. The San Francisco Giants were swept by the Padres. There were plenty of exciting finishes and solid performances.

Dave Dombrowski made another deal, getting all-star pitcher Drew Pomeranz from San Diego. Dombrowski got the job done with the Marlins and Tigers, and he has made bold moves in Boston already.

It was also sad to note the passing of NBA star Nate Thurmond from leukemia at age 74. He was an outstanding rebounder and he will be missed.
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July 14th, 2016

Tim Duncan has decided to retire after 19 incredible years with the San Antonio Spurs.

When he went to Wake Forest, he was not a McDonald's All-American. Coach Dave Odom saw potential in the player later known as The Big Fundamental. Duncan was a swimmer from the Virgin Islands at the time, and he took coaching to heart.

Duncan responded to teaching and worked so hard to improve his game. The staff at Wake Forest did a great job with him. It did not happen overnight.

He was a warrior on both ends of the court. In my estimation, he became the best power forward in the history of the game. He was super, scintillating and sensational.

I love stories of athletes that came out of nowhere. He wasn't told at age 14 or 15 that he was the greatest player. He went into the gym and busted his gut, worked out, developed his body and his skills.

Think about his career in San Antonio. Besides all of the personal accolades, he won five NBA titles and did it within the team concept. Gregg Popovich got the most out of him in a positive way, both offensively and defensively.

It is great to see a guy with his class and stature go out with greatness.
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June 24th, 2016

The NBA draft is in the books and as usual, it is all about potential, potential, potential. It takes time to evaluate winners and losers, and you also see guys taken in the second round making a difference like a Draymond Green.

No surprise to see Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram going 1-2, but the Celtics surprised some by taking California's Jaylen Brown third. He is versatile and could be a plus at small forward for Boston. I liked Demetrius Jackson of Notre Dame and Ben Bentil of Providence too, so the Celtics had a decent night.

How many guys will make an immediate impact in the league? Not too many. The bottom line is many players picked will make rosters next season and will have bright futures down the line. It will take some time to have the opportunity to shine.

Some of my thoughts on the draft:

I loved New Orleans getting Buddy Hield. Teaming up with Anthony Davis will be exciting. Hield can shoot outside and having an inside-outside presence like Davis should be special for the Pelicans. New Orleans also added Cheick Diallo, who fell from the first round. He has potential, but he is a project for now.

The Bulls got a versatile PTP'ers in Denzel Valentine. This could be a case of another Spartan, a la Draymond Green, that is better than experts believe.

Minnesota made a super pick at number five, landing Kris Dunn of Providence. New coach Tom Thibodeau will love his defensive tenacity

I was surprised that Baylor's Taurean Waller-Prince was picked as high as number 12. I had him rated a bit lower.

Several freshmen fell out of the first round. I felt for Deyonta Davis of Michigan State, though going to Memphis early in round two could work out. Skal Labissiere and Dejonte Murray slipped to late in the first round.

Time will tell how teams fared.
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June 20th, 2016

What a great game 7 in the NBA Finals. Congrats to the Cleveland Cavaliers, coming back from 3-1 down to win the title. Two of those three wins came at Oracle, the toughest place to win on the road during the regular season.

LeBron James will be in the argument as to who is the best player ever to play in the NBA when his career is over. He now has three rings, and he brought one home to Cleveland. He is in a different world on the court.

I am happy for the fans of Cleveland as they finally got to celebrate. Give Golden State a lot of credit for a great season. Draymond Green had a great game seven, but it was not enough.
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June 12th, 2016

I had a great weekend as part of my 77th birthday celebration.

I went to Cleveland for game 4 of the NBA finals. Thanks to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert for the invitation. It was a super game as the Warriors dominated the final quarter to win. I had a great time with the ESPN on ABC broadcast crew, Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Doris Burke were great to me.

The I went to the Cubs-Braves game on Saturday as guest of manager Joe Maddon. It was great spending time with him.

Thanks to my friends Mike Valdes and the gang who made this so special too.
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June 6th, 2016

Muhammad Ali, The CHAMP, was simply the BEST of all the REST! May he RIP.

I was in total AWE when I met him. I got to speak to him at the ESPYs one year and he appreciated it when I mentioned his lines prior to the Sonny Liston fights. I also saw him one year at the Kentucky Derby. I was with Ali and DeWayne Lukas, but sadly, the champ was a shell of his old self.

He meant so much to so many people. He fought against injustice. He was a lot more than a special athlete. He was a world-wide figure. Ali was revered, and that is why his passing was so sad.
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May 31st, 2016

It is going to an unbelievable series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors for the NBA Championship. Last year when the Cavs played the Warriors they played without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving but now they have a healthy cast and those guys will really help Lebron James, and bring unbelievable honors to the city. Cleveland has not had a championship in over 5 decades. My gut tells me they are going to find somehow, some way, to stop the outstanding Warriors lead by scoring machine Stephen Curry. Yes, I firmly feel the Cavaliers will win this series in 7 tough games.
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May 18th, 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.
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May 16th, 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.


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April 29th, 2016

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.


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April 29th, 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.
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Quote of the Week

“An NBA All-Star game featured zero D, but who cares. Fans enjoyed the many dazzling moments on display.

-Dick Vitale