Dick Vitale

Dick Vitale Earns Lifetime Achievement Award, and It’s Awesome, Baby!

Throughout his legendary career at ESPN, sports broadcasting icon Dick Vitale has been a staple in college basketball. He has coined several iconic Vitale-isms like "diaper dandy" and "PTP'er" while on the air and even was elected to both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and College Basketball Hall of Fame. It's time to add another prestigious award to his stacked resume.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) announced the popular sports analyst, who has covered countless major NCAA basketball games, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports at the 40th Annual Sports Emmy Awards on Monday, May 20 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall.

There's no doubt. "It's going to awesome, baby, with a capital A!"

RELATED: The End of an Era: The Legendary Bob Costas Has Left NBC Sports for Good

Whether it has been a Duke freshman star or another flat-out superstar, veteran ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale has one been a constant each basketball season and earning this Sports Emmy is a well-deserved honor.

"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. 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.  I'll simply say I'm so blessed and lucky and owe it all to my family and my second family at ESPN."

— ESPN College Basketball Analyst Dick Vitale, via ESPN Media Zone

Before Dickie V, a Passaic, New Jersey native and Seton Hall alum started calling games, he had a solid coaching career at the high school, college, and NBA levels from 1963-1979 until the sports broadcasting giant hired him. It's been a wild and crazy and fun ride ever since.

"Dick Vitale is one of the most unique, effusive and recognizable voices in sports broadcasting today," NATAS President and CEO Adam Sharp said. "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.  The National Academy could not be more proud to honor him with our distinguished, Lifetime Achievement Awards for Sports!"

Dick Vitale has been a prime-time player for ESPN for decades and the trip to New York City this spring will be one of the most special yet.

Past Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports Winners

1989: Jim McKay
1990: Lindsey Nelson
1991: Curt Gowdy
1992: Chris Schenkel
1993: Pat Summerall
1994: Howard Cosell
1995: Vin Scully
1996: Frank Gifford
1997: Jim Simpson
1998: Keith Jackson
1999: Jack Buck
2000: Dick Enberg
2001: Herb Granath
2002: Roone Arledge
2003: Ed Sabol and Steve Sabol
2004: Chet Simmons
2005: Bud Greenspan
2006: Don Ohlmeyer
2007: Frank Chirkinian
2008: Dick Ebersol
2009: John Madden
2010: Al Michaels
2011: Jack Whitaker
2012: Not Awarded
2013: Ted Turner
2014: George Bodenheimer
2015: Verne Lundquist
2016: Brent Musburger
2017: Barry Frank

READ MORE: The All-Coaches Starting 5 Would Wreck Any Team, Any Time