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Lakewood Ranch’s Dick Vitale to receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance

Over the last seven months, the 82-year-old has been successfully treated for melanoma, lymphoma, and underwent vocal cord surgery

Doug Fernandes

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Lakewood Ranch resident and ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at The 2022 ESPYS, to be broadcast live on July 20 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

The award, named after the late Jimmy Valvanvo, is given to a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination. Over the last seven months, the 82-year-old has been successfully treated for melanoma, lymphoma, and underwent vocal cord surgery.

“When I received the call from Jimmy Pitaro (ESPN president) about receiving this award, I was absolutely blown away,” Vitale said. “I remember that day almost 30 years ago, when I stood on the stage at the first ESPYS, introduced Jimmy V and witnessed him give that incredible speech we all remember. I reflected on his speech many times during my seven-month battle — ‘don’t give up, don’t ever give up’ — and I remembered my mother and father, who taught me never to believe in ‘can’t.’

“Jimmy V was special and his legacy lives on. I am so grateful to receive this tremendous award in his honor.”

The Jimmy V Award was first handed out at the 2007 ESPYS. The show brings attention to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, named for Valvano, who appeared on the first ESPYS in 1993 and died less than two months later of cancer at age 47.

The 17th Annual Dick Vitale Gala raised a record $11.1 million for pediatric cancer research. It brought the total raised over the 17 galas to nearly $55 million.

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