ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale will return to call his first basketball game of the 2021-22 season, the network announced on Thursday.
Vitale, 82, will participate in ESPN's broadcast of an early season competition between college basketball's top two teams—No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 UCLA—at 10 p.m. ET Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“My family and I are absolutely jumping with joy,” Vitale told ESPN in a statement. “Knowing I’ll be courtside with all my buddies and calling Number 1 versus 2, this is the best medicine I could ask for."
Vitale revealed on Oct. 18 that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma and had begun treatment. Before his announcement, the longtime commentator underwent multiple surgeries to remove melanoma in August.
He was released from the hospital on Tuesday after a day of chemotherapy and was feeling great.
While in the hospital, Vitale received a gift from the Minnesota football team. The Gophers gave Vitale an oar and he said that it provided him with a "big lift mentally and emotionally."
"I’m so proud to start my 43rd year on Tuesday," Vitale said. "Lastly, to the fans – you have given me a career that has exceeded any dream I’ve ever had.”
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