Book Details

Dickie V’s ABCs and 1-2-3s

A Great Start for Young Superstars


By Dick Vitale
 Illustrated by Craig Lueck

Do you know a young superstar who’s old enough to begin learning their alphabet and numbers? A budding basketball fan who’s ready to take on the world of reading and hoops? Well, Dickie V’s ABCs and 1-2-3s, the first little book in the Dick Vitale Children’s Literacy Initiative, is AWESOME, BABY! It’s a children’s alphabet and counting book from the legendary ESPN college basketball analyst, Dick Vitale. Dick is a grandfather of five and a passionate advocate for early childhood development.

In the book, children learn their alphabet through high-energy basketball words that Dick uses in his national broadcasts. For example, “D” is for “dunk” and “J” is for “jump.” In the counting section of the book, Dick leads kids in counting 1 to 10 using colorful basketballs. The book has a special interactive feature the child can press to hear a digital, voice-recorded message from Dick Vitale.

Vitale’s roots are in teaching the game he’s loved since he was a child. This new book launches the Dick Vitale Children’s Literacy Initiative, which has as its mission to advance the literacy skills of children and to advocate literacy as a critical element in the development of a globally competitive society.

The book is richly illustrated with a colorful menagerie of characters and typefaces that attract the interest of young readers (and adult readers, too!).

Endorsed by early childhood development specialists, Dickie V’s ABCs and 1-2-3s is a wonderful gift for a child’s birthday, for baby showers, for Christmas, Hanukkah, or “just because.”

The book, published by Ascend Books, who also published Dick Vitale’s Fabulous 50 Players and Moments in College Basketball, is the first in a series of books from Vitale for young readers. Future titles feature subjects on virtues and values, personal development and accountability, and the importance of education as part of the Dick Vitale Children’s Literacy Initiative.

Dickie V’s ABCs and 1-2-3s
A Great Start for Young Superstars
By Dick Vitale

Illustrated by Craig Lueck


Dick Vitale college basketball’s top analyst and ambassador, has been an integral part of the ESPN television network since 1979. Vitale called ESPN’s first-ever NCAA basketball game – Wisconsin at DePaul on Dec. 5, 1979. Since then, he’s called close to a thousand games for ESPN. Before he became involved in broadcasting, he was a head coach at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. The always-energetic Vitale is a favorite endorser among a wide array of major corporations. He’s also one of the nation’s most requested public speakers, providing motivational speeches to numerous leading corporations and organizations across the U.S. Vitale is on the Board of Directors of The V Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. The foundation, established in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, has raised millions of dollars for pediatric cancer research. He’s also a member of advisory boards for the Harlem Globetrotters and the Henry Iba Citizen Awards. Plus, he participates on selection committees for both the Naismith and Wooden Awards and is a member of the Associated Press voting panel for the Top 25. In addition, Basketball Times named Vitale one of the sport’s Five Most Influential Personalities. He was presented with an Honorary Citizens Award by Father Flanagan of Boystown.

In 2002, the Florida Association of Community Corrections presented Vitale with their President’s Humanitarian Award for his work with young people. In 2003, Vitale was honored with the first-ever Ethics and Sportsmanship in Sports Media Award given by the Institute for International Sport, as well as the National Pathfinder Award, co-presented by the Indiana Sports Corporation and Indiana Black Expo to individuals who have demonstrated a dedicated commitment to improving the lives of America’s youth.

Dick was enshrined as a member of the Class of 2008 in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame as a contributor. He was also selected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Missouri. All told he’s been selected for nine halls of fame.

6 x 8 Board Book, full color

December 2010

*Cover subject to change

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