ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, will receive the fifth annual Court of Honor Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. The Court of Honor Award is presented to an individual who has roots in college basketball, values those roots and has gone on to distinguish himself in his profession, exhibiting the highest standards of leadership.
The inaugural Court of Honor Gala Experience was held in April 2009, where Jerry Colangelo, chairman of USA Basketball and the man who assembled the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in 2008, received the Court of Honor Award. Other recipients include former Senator Bill Bradley (2010), Phil Knight (2011) and Jim Nantz (2013). “I was flabbergasted when Mike [Krzyzewski, Duke coach] called to let me know,” said Vitale. “I’m in awe to join the list of giants who have won this award. I could never of dreamed it growing up across the river from where I will get this outstanding honor.”
Vitale, college basketball’s top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN in 1979 – just after the network’s launch – following a college and pro coaching career. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate – but never boring – style. He writes regular pieces for ESPN.com/dickvitale, and has his own web site – www.dickvitaleonline.com. In addition, he has authored 10 books.
Vitale has been inducted into more than a dozen Halls of Fame, including the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 2013 as well as the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, both in 2008.
In addition to his dedication to basketball, Vitale is a passionate philanthropist. He’s on the Board of Directors of The V Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer and founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano (and an organization which has since raised millions of dollars). He has co-chaired with Mike Krzyzewski and John Saunders the annual V Foundation Golf Classic and hosts an annual V Foundation Gala in Florida which gathers numerous celebrities to raise money and honor individuals such as Krzyzewski, Bob Knight, Roy Williams, Billy Donovan and Pat Summitt.
“I don’t believe there is anyone who has helped grow the popularity of men’s college basketball over the last 30-plus years more than Dick Vitale,” said NABC Foundation President Mike Krzyzewski, the head coach at Duke University. “He has boundless enthusiasm and passion for everything he does, whether it’s commenting on a game or raising money for pediatric cancer research.”