New ESPN Films Documentary ‘Dickie V’ Will Chronicle the Life of Legendary College Basketball Broadcaster Dick Vitale

by Bryan Fyalkowski

One of college basketball’s most famous figures is getting an ESPN Films feature special. Dickie V, an 80-minute documentary about legendary broadcaster Dick Vitale, will debut on Wednesday, July 20 on ESPN+. It will have its linear debut on ESPN on Saturday, July 23 at 3 p.m. CT.

The 60-second preview trailer for Dickie V dropped this morning. It featured quotes from coaches Mike Brey, Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari, as well as fellow broadcasters Holly Rowe, Mike Tirico and Stephen A. Smith.

“Why the hell were you concerned about college basketball?” Smith asked. “Because ‘Dickie V’ made you concerned.”

ESPN says it will include more than 40 original interviews. Charles Barkley, Chris Berman, Magic Johnson, Robin Roberts and others will share the screen along with the others mentioned above.

The 83-year-old Dick Vitale worked ESPN’s first college basketball game on December 5, 1979, and has been a staple on the sidelines for the past 40-plus years. His unique enthusiasm and voice over the airwaves have been unmistakable ever since. In 2008, he was an inductee to both the Naismith Memorial and College Basketball Halls of Fame.

Some of Vitale’s famous catch-phrases include “Diaper Dandy” (a star freshman player), “P.T.P.-er” (a prime-time player) and “Trifecta” (a three-pointer). Almost everything was “Awesome, with a capital A!” and, of course, Vitale capped most of his remarks with an emphatic “Baby!”

Dick Vitale’s Story of ‘Loss, Triumph, Giving and Humanity’

ESPN’s news release says Dickie V will also include Dick Vitale’s struggle against melanoma, lymphoma and ulcerated lesions on his vocal cords. Footage includes raw and revealing scenes of him in the hospital and recovering at home.

For his perseverance and impact on college basketball, Vitale will be receiving the Jimmy V Award at the ESPY’s on July 20 – the same night the documentary becomes available to watch on ESPN+. “Dickie V” and “Jimmy V” were dear friends up until Valvano’s passing in 1993.

“I’m in the last chapter, man,” Vitale said to cap the preview trailer.

“Everyone knows the Dick Vitale that shows up with an energetic smile and enthusiastic conversation. But there is so much more to his character,” director Nick Nanton said. “His journey of resilience is one that I know will resonate universally. His story of loss, triumph, giving and humanity is one I simply had to tell.”