ESPN's Dick Vitale to Receive Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at 2022 ESPYs

Erin WalshMay 7, 2022

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 12: College basketball legend Dick Vitale is featuring before the SEC Tournament between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday, March 11, 2022 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Legendary ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2022 ESPYs in July, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro announced Friday. 

The award is given to a person "who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination." Vitale announced in April that he was cleared to "ring the bell" following his final chemotherapy treatment, signaling that he was cancer-free. 

Vitale revealed in October that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma. It came just months after he underwent successful surgery to remove melanoma. 

The 82-year-old returned to calling games on ESPN in November, but he had to step aside one month later because of inflammation in his throat. He then announced that he would not return for the remainder of the college basketball season. 

Vitale recently made an appearance at the SEC men's tournament in March, when he was honored for his contributions to basketball. He was gifted a ball signed by the SEC's 14 coaches and received a standing ovation from the crowd. 

Although he missed most of the 2021-22 season, Vitale told Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim in February that he plans to return to calling games during the 2022-23 campaign.

"I have so much energy and enthusiasm left in the tank/I will match my drive/desire with any 22 YR OLD," Vitale said via text message. "… I am greedy and want to be the first broadcaster to walk in and call a game at 100. Heck, that is only 18 years to go. Don’t bet against it happening/I guess nothing wrong with dreaming baby! … I just need MY VOICE BACK."

The Jimmy V Award has been around since 2007, and Vitale will join a group of honorees that includes former North Carolina State women's basketball coach Kay Yow, former Denver Nuggets George Karl, former Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett and former ironman triathlon competitor Chris Nikic.