Detroit to name court for Dick Vitale

Updated: June 15, 2011, 4:17 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Detroit will honor ESPN college basketball analyst and Basketball Hall of Fame member Dick Vitale by renaming its home court in his honor, the university announced Wednesday.

The university will dedicate Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall on Dec. 5, during a nationally-televised game against St. John's. The game will mark the 32nd anniversary of his first college basketball game working for ESPN -- Wisconsin at DePaul on Dec. 5, 1979.

Vitale was coach at Detroit from 1973-77. The Titans reached the NCAA tournament in 1977, when the tournament was a 32-team field. He also served the school as athetlic director.

"What Dick has done for the game of college basketball is nothing short of remarkable, and it is only fitting that we honor him in such a special way -- given his career started right here at U of D as a head coach," Detroit athletic director Keri Gaither said. "Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall will serve as a perpetual and lasting tribute to not only Dick's time at Detroit but also his significant contributions to the sport over several decades."

"I can't tell you how much this means to me. It should be a special, special moment," Vitale said. "It will probably move me to tears."