🏀 Dick Vitale started his coaching career at Garfield & East Rutherford High Schools

🏀 The 84-year-old was first diagnosed with cancer in August 2021

🏀 After declaring himself cancer free it returned in July

ESPN basketball analyst and New Jersey native Dick Vitale will stay sidelined as he continues his recovery from throat cancer.

The Passaic-born 84-year-old has been courtside for ESPN since its inception in 1979 at the college and pro level but sidelined by cancer so far this season.

Vitale has gone through several rounds of cancer treatments since August 2021 when he had treatment to remove melanoma. Doctors discovered lymphoma and then pre-cancerous dysplasia and ulcerous lesions on his vocal cords.

Vitale declared himself cancer-free in August 2022 but cancer returned to Viatale's body in July in the form of laryngeal cancer. After 35 treatments that ended in August, Vitale declared himself victorious — but with a catch.

"Great news radiation wiped out the cancer but has affected my vocal cords - 🙏🙏🙏problem clears up so I can get the BEST MEDICINE of all -Sitting at courtside," Vitale wrote on his X account.

Treatment for his voice

Vitale said he is going to see a doctor in Boston to keep up the fight to heal his vocal cords.  Vitale did not set a date when he will return for his 45th season.

"Dick has the full support of his entire ESPN family, and, while we look forward to a return to his rightful courtside perch, he needs to focus on fully mending his vocal cords," ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement. "Sports fans everywhere will anxiously await his comeback whenever he is ready."

Vitale's coaching career started in high school, first in Garfield and then at East Rutherford where he won two state championships. He went on to coach at Rutgers, Seton Hall and the University of Detroit at the college level. Vitale moved onto the pros with the Detroit Pistons.

He was also elected to the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2013 and earned a Lifetime Achievement Sports Emmy award in 2019.

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