Dick Vitale was given the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday evening. The veteran NBA commentator and announcer delivered a heartfelt speech, opening up about his struggle with cancer. Hollywood actor John Hamm presented the award to Vitale at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Jimmy V Award is given to a “deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination”, according to a press release from ESPN.

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Vitale first spoke about his disease in an ESPN essay, in which he revealed that he was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. Doctors also discovered that there was precancerous dysplasia in his throat, which can become cancerous if not treated.

What did Dick Vitale say at the ESPY Awards 2022?

Vitale’s address on Wednesday largely revolved around praising the Jimmy V Foundation, which has reportedly poured in huge funds for cancer research. 

“Cancer does not discriminate, it comes after all. No kid or child should be going through chemo or radiation”, Vitale said. “It does not matter race or religion, it will bring you to your knees. There is only one way to beat it, my friends, we have to raise dollars and give oncologists a fighting chance”, he added.

Dick Vitale concluded his speech with a message to the world: “Just remember: perseverance, plus passion, plus pride, equals ‘win’ in the game of life. Keep chasing your dreams, keep chasing your goals.”

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Vitale has been a part of the NBA circuit for more than four decades and has been the official announcer in hundreds of games. After his diagnosis, he was instructed to not speak for roughly three months as part of the treatment. 

In a social media post in April this year, Vitale announced that he beat cancer after seven months of treatment.