SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON/AP) – The world lost a sportscasting legend more than five years ago.
Stuart Scott would’ve been celebrating his 55th birthday on Sunday. Instead, his life was cut short after a more than 7-year battle with cancer.
The longtime “SportsCenter” anchor and ESPN personality known for his enthusiasm and ubiquity died in January 2015.
Despite undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, Scott remained dedicated to his craft and did so gracefully.
Scott delivered a heartfelt speech when he accepted the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2014 ESPYS for his courageous fight against cancer.
Following his death, the “Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award” was created. The award celebrates people who have taken risks and use an innovative approach to helping the disadvantaged through the power of sports, according to ESPN.
Some of the world’s most famous athletes expressed their grief online after learning about the devastating loss. Basketball star LeBron James wrote on Instagram: “Thank you so much for being u and giving us inner city kids someone we could relate to that wasn’t a player but was close enough to them.”
“Stuart wasn’t covering heroes & champions, it was the other way around,” golfer Tiger Woods said on Twitter.
Scott was born in Chicago and went to high school in North Carolina where he continued his academics at the University of North Carolina.
After graduating from UNC, Scott worked at three TV stations before joining ESPN for the 1993 launch of ESPN2. He often anchored the 11 p.m. “SportsCenter”, where he would punctuate emphatic highlights with “Boo-ya!” which later became one of his most famous catchphrases.
He went on to cover major sporting events like the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series and the NCAA college basketball tournament.
Scott also interviewed President Barack Obama, joining him for a televised game of one-on-one basketball.
“I will miss Stuart Scott,” Obama said in a statement. “Stu helped usher in a new way to talk about our favorite teams and the day’s best plays. For much of those 20 years, public service and campaigns have kept me from my family — but wherever I went, I could flip on the TV and Stu and his colleagues on ‘SportsCenter’ were there.”
Scott was first diagnosed with cancer in November 2007 after he had to leave the “Monday Night Football” game between Miami and Pittsburgh to have his appendix removed. Doctors discovered a tumor during surgery. He underwent chemotherapy again in 2011.
While accepting the Jimmy V award, he noted: “When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer.”
“You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live,” Scott said. “So live. Live. Fight like hell.”
Happy Birthday, Stuart Scott!
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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