Veteran ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports at the 40th Annual Sports Emmy Awards in May, it was announced Tuesday.
“To have my name listed among the giants in sports broadcasting and to receive this prestigious award leaves me speechless, and you probably know that doesn’t happen to me often,” Vitale, 79, said in a statement.
“I’m in absolute awe, going from a jock in the locker room to 40 years and counting at ESPN to now being in the same group as many people I’ve idolized as a fan is incredible.”
“Dick Vitale is one of the most unique, effusive and recognizable voices in sports broadcasting today,” Adam Sharp, president and CEO, NATAS, continued. “His knowledge, enthusiasm and love of the game is captured in every comment, call and catchphrase he creates. He is a master behind the microphone and a great humanitarian.”
Having joined ESPN during the 1979-80 basketball season after a college and pro coaching career, Vitale has become one of the most iconic voices in college basketball broadcasting.
The colorful sportscaster is known for his signature “Vitale-isms,” such as “Awesome, Baby!,” “Get a TO, Baby!” (call a timeout), “PTP’er” (prime-time player), “M & M’er” (a mismatch), “Rolls Roycer” (a flat-out superstar), “diaper dandy” (freshman star), “All-Windex Performer” (ferocious rebounder) and “Maalox time” (the final minutes of a close game).
In 2008, Vitale was selected as an inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The 40th Annual Sports Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, May 20 at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City. Awards in more than 40 categories including Lifetime Achievement will be presented.