Craig Sager,64, has been chosen to receive the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. He will receive it July 13 at the 2016 ESPYs.
Sager, a 34-year veteran and popular TNT sideline reporter known for his suits, has been battling leukemia over the past few years. He has continued to work through the majority of his battle. He missed 11 months while being treated. He had a bone marrow transplant from his son as well as two stem-cell transplants. He returned to his sideline in March 2015.
In April, Sager announced his cancer has returned and his doctors say a typical person will only have three to six months to live. It is also rare for someone to have a third stem-cell transplant. Sager calls this “unchartered water.”
“When I was diagnosed with cancer, like so many other people, my life changed forever,” Sager said in a statement Monday. “Over the last two years, I’ve done everything in my power to live my life as normally as possible. But at times, you need support and I’m so thankful to everyone who has been there for me.”(ESPN)
“One of those pieces of inspiration has come from Jim Valvano himself,” Sager said of the late NC State basketball coach, who inspired millions with his courageous battle against cancer in 1993. “I have his [ESPYs] speech saved on my phone and, now 23 years later, its impact lives on with me and countless others. There is no greater honor than receiving this award and I am very humbled.”(ESPN)
The TNT crew are wearing Sager socks tonight, as well as ties and a bowtie for Ernie(his wife made it) that Dwyane Wade started for Sager and other battling cancer.
Talk Sports is #SagerStrong
(The Jimmy V Award is given to someone in sports who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination. It is named for Valvano, the NCAA-winning coach who gave an emotional acceptance speech at the 1993 ESPYS that included his famous words “Don’t Give Up … Don’t Ever Give Up!” He died of cancer later that year.)