For all the accolades he’s received as a college and professional basketball coach and an even longer career in broadcasting, Dick Vitale insists his greatest accomplishment has been raising money for pediatric cancer research.

It’s an obsession, he says, that one night each spring transforms his adopted home of Sarasota, Florida, into the Vitale-proclaimed “sports capital of the nation” because of an all-star cast of sports and entertainment celebrities that support his annual charity event.

Over the past decade-plus, the Dick Vitale Gala has raised $25.2 million through the V Foundation for cancer research, formed by the late North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano, who died of cancer in 1993.

The event attracted more than 900 guests and raised a record $3.7 million last year. The target

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