Dick Vitale has been the face (and voice!) of college hoops for over three decades, but once upon a time he was on the other side of the microphone, coaching the University of Detroit from 1973-77. He posted a 79-29 career record, and in his final season the Titans went 26-3, which included a win over Marquette, the eventual NCAA champions.
Detroit honored Vitale before Monday's 69-63 win against St. John's by naming their home court at Calihan Hall after him. "There'd be no Dickie V., there'd be no Hall of Fame, if this school didn't give me an opportunity and give me a chance to chase a dream," he said during the dedication ceremony. "They gave me a chance to live a dream, and I've been so blessed."
Watch Vitale address the crowd at Calihan Hall after the jump.
The video comes courtesy of freelance sportswriter Dave Hogg (@Stareagle), who also snapped a bunch of pictures of the ceremony and Detroit's sweet throwback jerseys they used as part of the night's festivities. Earlier in the day, Vitale told reporters that he was initially reluctant to accept the honor. From the AP:
"I've had many honors come my way, the ultimate was going into the Basketball Hall of Fame, but having a court named after you is an incredible honor and I'm emotionally spent about it,'' Vitale said. "When they called to tell me about it, I didn't feel comfortable with it.
"But they made it clear that this wasn't based on solely what I did as a coach, but also for the visibility and exposure I've given the school with my career at ESPN.''