Duke basketball: Coach K praises Dick Vitale for return to broadcasting

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski praised ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale. 

The college basketball world is excited for Tuesday night’s marquee matchup between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 UCLA, and Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski shares in that excitement.

Not only is Tuesday’s matchup in Las Vegas a rematch of one of the best NCAA Tournament games in recent history, Gonzaga and UCLA in last year’s Final Four, but it is the return of Dick Vitale to the broadcast booth.

Vitale, 82, announced he had been undergoing treatment to remove melanoma that had been discovered by doctors in August. In October, he announced that his doctors had diagnosed him with lymphoma, which he has been undergoing chemotherapy to treat.

The Hall of Famer has not been on a broadcast this season but announced that his doctors gave him clearance to travel from his home in Florida to Las Vegas to call Tuesday’s game.

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Vitale has been receiving well wishes, congratulations, and words of encouragement from all around the college basketball landscape, but it was Krzyzewski who spoke about his close friend at length following Duke’s 107-81 victory over The Citadel on Monday night.

“I communicate with him probably every other day, he and I are really close friends,” Krzyzewski explained.

“I’m so proud of you because you doing this shows the thousands of people who have cancer that you are going to fight it…I’m really proud of you showing that,” Coach K relayed to Vital in a text message the other day.

Dick Vitale has been an advocate for helping children fight cancer in his annual gala to raise money for the cause.

“What he’s doing is God’s work,” Krzyzewski said.

Dick Vitale hopefully will get to call Duke basketball game this season

Duke will be just missing Dick Vitale in Las Vegas this week as the Blue Devils will make the trip to play No. 1 Gonzaga on Friday night in the Continental Tire Challenge.

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However, hopefully, Vitale is able to continue his positive progress against cancer and find his way to Durham this season to broadcast a game as he always is must-watch television when he is with the Cameron Crazies.

The Blue Devils and Bulldogs will tip off at 10:30 p.m. EST on Friday night on ESPN.

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