A basketball hall of famer will speak in Salina Thursday night. College Basketball Analyst and ABC Sports and ESPN talent Dick Vitale will be the featured speaker at the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet.
Vitale is considered by many to be college basketball’s top analyst and ambassador. He joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season shortly after the network’s September 1979 launch, following a successful college and pro coaching career. In 2008, Vitale received the sport’s ultimate honor when he was selected as an inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In addition, he’s been selected for 17 halls of fame across the country. Vitale is also quite the philanthropist. He’s on the Board of Directors of The V Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer and founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano.
The evening will consist of remarks by outgoing Board Chair Joyce Volk and incoming Chairman James Lambert, a brief review of the Chamber’s accomplishments in 2019, and the address by Dick Vitale.
The banquet will be held in the Arena of the Tony’s Pizza Events Center beginning at 6:30pm. A membership networking reception will be held from 5-6:15pm in Great Plains Manufacturing Convention Hall at the Events Center.
The chamber has a history of bringing big name speakers for their annual banquet and membership meeting. Last year actor and comedian Rob Riggle spoke. Other speakers have included Kansas City Royal’s General Manager Dayton Moore, Republican Presidential Nomination Candidate Carly Fiorina, Emmy-Award winning journalist John Stossel, cancer surviving hall of fame figure skater Scott Hamilton, presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, former Alaska Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Former President George Bush, Former British Prime Minister John Major, sports journalist Bob Costas, and Major League Baseball hall of famer Cal Ripken Jr., among others.