Purdue broadcaster working March Madness during cancer battle

Big Tournament

HARTFORD, Conn. (WISH) – Larry Clisby made it.

Six months ago, the voice of Purdue men’s basketball for nearly four decades, declared himself a dead man walking. At the age of 71, two grim diagnoses arrived last spring. 

Clisby found out he had brain cancer and stage four lung cancer. 

“When my finance and I found out I had metastasized brain cancer, we cried a little bit at first,” Clisby said. “The first thing I said was, ‘We don’t have a lot of choices here.'”

Clisby channeled his old Army mindset.

When asked to describe that mindset, Clisby said: “There was Canada, jail or the Army back in the day. So, as you may expect, this broadcasting lifer showed up to the fight.”

Boilers Head Coach Matt Painter, the man Clisby sits next to on the team bus and refers to as the “gregarious young fella” showed up too. Painter put $10,000 toward medical costs. And Painter then helped deliver something priceless: Purdue basketball in March.

Well, I am glad to see it, Clisby said. When this all began in June, heck, I didn’t know if I was going to make it to September. But, I did. Just in the last month I started feeling that I am okay. I walk kind of slow and stuff, but even those are getting better.

Purdue. Painter. Carsen and Cliz. There is magic on that bus heading to Louisville for the Sweet 16.

It has been quite a journey for me, Clisby added. It has been difficult, but I have had a lot of help. The whole Purdue team, managers, coaches, and administrators have been incredibly helpful to me.

Purdue faces Tennessee Thursday night. Clisby will have the radio call across the Purdue Sports Network.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Man indicted with allegedly assaulting terminally ill father

Thumbnail for the video titled "Man indicted with allegedly assaulting terminally ill father"

Vernon city employees still uncertain about being able to carry

Thumbnail for the video titled "Vernon city employees still uncertain about being able to carry"

Cell phone case that feels like human skin

Thumbnail for the video titled "Cell phone case that feels like human skin"

KFDX "Cutest Kid in Costume" contest

Thumbnail for the video titled "KFDX "Cutest Kid in Costume" contest"

Wichita Falls Community Foundation celebrates 20 years of service

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wichita Falls Community Foundation celebrates 20 years of service"

Flu Shots and PCP's

Thumbnail for the video titled "Flu Shots and PCP's"

Officials hope to keep school buses "the safest form of student transportation"

Thumbnail for the video titled "Officials hope to keep school buses "the safest form of student transportation""

Vernon City Commission meeting

Thumbnail for the video titled "Vernon City Commission meeting"

Yoga enthusiasts stretch their way to a cure

Thumbnail for the video titled "Yoga enthusiasts stretch their way to a cure"

Best Buy

Thumbnail for the video titled "Best Buy"

Longtime philanthropist Kay Dillard passes away

Thumbnail for the video titled "Longtime philanthropist Kay Dillard passes away"

Homeless man arrested after allegedly assaulting children with gun

Thumbnail for the video titled "Homeless man arrested after allegedly assaulting children with gun"