Vitale pens children’s book

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When renowned ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale coined the phrase “Diaper Dandy,”  it referred to star college basketball freshmen.

But Vitale has turned his focus to a younger group that he hopes will become future superstars in life. Vitale has authored the first of a series of children’s books, entitled “Dicky V’s, ABCs and 1-2-3s, A Great Start for Young Superstars.”

The 71-year-old Vitale, a grandfather of five, was approached by Ascend Books to write a series of books to support the Children’s Literary Initiative. Illustrated by Craig Lueck,  the book is for kids ages 2 to 6. In addition to teaching kids basketball terms (“D” is for dunk. “J” is for jump), there also is a push-button digital recording of Vitale’s voice. By pushing the button, kids can learn five different Vitale phrases, including his patented “You’re Awesome, Baby!”

All proceeds from the book will benefit the V Foundation’s Pediatric Cancer Research Fund. For more information, visit www.DickVitaleOnline.com