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Dickie V buys uniforms for Booker High football team

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Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012 9:43 am | Updated: 8:56 pm, Sun Mar 23, 2014.

SARASOTA - One of the biggest names in the sports broadcasting business is giving back to a Sarasota High School football team.

Dick Vitale, a commentator with ESPN, who is also a Lakewood Ranch resident, recently purchased new uniforms for the Booker High School football team.

"I happen to love kids. I also happen to be in a position that I am able to help. I love helping," Vitale said on Friday.

As ABC 7 reported earlier this month, the team was in desperate need of new uniforms. The school's booster club could not afford the $340 price tag for each new jersey and pants. When Vitale learned of the story, he contacted a friend of his in the custom apparel business.

"He went nuts when I said we needed the uniforms in two weeks. He said, "Two weeks!? You can't be serious." We got 150 uniforms. 75 home, 75 away and 75 pants," Vitale said.

Players received the jerseys this week at school. Booker's athletic director says the players are thrilled.

"The kids love them. They are excited. They are fired up. There is a lot of positive energy around the school," said athletic director Rod Dragash.

Vitale is just happy he could lend a helping hand. "I'm really happy the kids got an opportunity to dress and feel like a real football player," Vitale said.

Vitale says he'll likely attend Booker's first home game of the season next week when the Tornadoes take on Venice High.

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