Dick Vitale, a longstanding college basketball broadcaster for ESPN, shared that Tennessee Volunteers basketball coach Rick Barnes has been encouraging him spiritually through his battle with cancer.
According to Sports Spectrum, Vitale, 82, has been battling numerous health issues, including Melanoma, a form of skin cancer, and Lymphoma. On Sunday morning, Barnes sent him a Scripture-filled prayer after his team lost to Texas A&M 52-51 on Saturday.
Vitale, who has been broadcasting for ESPN for 41 years, shared Barnes' prayer in several screenshots via his Twitter account.
"Lord, we know that Dick has been through a lot," the prayer reads in part. "Praying, Father, for You to give him rest for his mind, body, and spirit from the fatigue he is facing. We pray for needed strength. Things sometimes in life feel impossible, but God, Your Word says that all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26).
"By your grace, allow Dick to find rest in your shadow (Psalm 91:1)," Barnes added. "Give Dick wisdom so he is able to take the right next step forward."
Vitale said he "was shocked when he started doing this." "This AM after a tough L at Texas, he sends me this. Rick is special!"
During Texas game vs Vols I shared that @RickBarnesUT sends me a DAILY PRAYER to lift my spirits in my battles vs Melanoma,Lymphoma, & my vocal cord problem.I was shocked when he started doing this .This AM after a tough L at Texas he sends me this 🙏🙏🙏 Rick is special! pic.twitter.com/CSW38zRQiB— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) January 30, 2022
Barnes, who has been leading the Tennessee Volunteers since 2015, spoke to WBIR about the prayers he sends to Vitale.
"His involvement and what he's done for cancer is remarkable," Barnes said. "He's impacted so many lives. I think God is using him in a great way."
Barnes also shared how texting Vitale each day has impacted himself spiritually.
"From the time I started texting him a prayer every day, I said it has been good for me because it has given me a chance to spend even more alone time with the Lord," the basketball coach noted.
"I really have great admiration for Dick," Barnes added. "He's a fighter right now. He's fighting a battle he has fought for so many people, and like I said, he's been an inspiration to a lot of people. Our conversations as of late have impacted me as of late as much as they've impacted him."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Ron Jenkins/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.