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Awesome, baby! Basketball analyst Dick Vitale reupped at ESPN through 2015

January 12, 2011 | 10:26 am

Vitale1.11Are you serious! Call the chief 'cause he's on fire, baby!

ESPN has extended the contract of catchphrase-loving basketball analyst Dick Vitale through 2015. Vitale, a former coach, is one of the longest-serving sports announcers around. He called ESPN's first major basketball game in 1979 and has done the honors at more than 1,000 games since.

"There is nothing greater than walking into an arena and feeling the excitement and energy of a big-time college basketball game," Vitale said in a statement.

On his Twitter feed, Vitale -- known for his enthusiastic (and often parodied) sayings, such as "Awesome, baby!" after baskets -- called ESPN his "2nd family."

--Scott Collins

Photo: Dick Vitale in 2008. Credit: Jack Dempsey / Associated Press