Craig Sager, the beloved basketball reporter, has passed away at the age of 65 after a hard fought battle with leukemia, according to Turner Sports.
Sager, whose family resides in Canton, Georgia, was known for his extravagant attire, but even more so for his colorful and charismatic personality. From his humorous interviews with Spurs coach Greg Popovich to his heartwarming speech at the 2016 ESPY’s, Sager was perhaps one of the most well-respected figures that sports has ever had.
Despite being given 3-6 months to live back in March, Sager always held his head up high, and wanted nothing more than to be on the court doing what he loves. After over 30 years of broadcasting, Craig Sager worked his first NBA Finals in Game 6, and was met with a standing ovation by Quicken Loans Arena. 2016 also gave him a spectacular March Madness, as well as the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, which turned #SagerStrong into one of the most powerful social media trends of the year.
The outpour of support, from fans to players to just about anyone who knows the game of basketball, has been absolutely extraordinary. There has truly been no one else who rivals the passion, selflessness, and personality that Craig Sager showed every time he took the mic. The sports world has truly lost one of the greatest of all time, and his character will never be replaced.
Through countless sessions of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants, Craig Sager never veered from his trademarked optimism and determination. At the speech given during his ESPY’s award reception, Sager left us with timeless words of advice: “I will never give up, and I will never give in. I will continue to keep fighting, sucking the marrow out of life, as life sucks the marrow out of me. I will live my life full of love and full of fun. It’s the only way I know how.”
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) December 15, 2016
— Kacy Sager (@THESagerbomb) December 15, 2016
— Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) December 15, 2016
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 15, 2016
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 15, 2016
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) December 15, 2016
— Chris Paul (@CP3) December 15, 2016