If at any point over the past 20 years you have turned on TNT to watch an NBA game, you likely know who Craig Sager is. Working as a sideline reporter for almost two decades, Craig is known worldwide as a very passionate individual. He’s also known for wearing some of the most colorful suits that humans can dream up. His professionalism and hard work resonates throughout the NBA and TNT.
Sadly in 2014, Craig Sager was diagnosed with leukemia. His son, Craig Sager Jr. was a match for a bone marrow transplant and helped his father continue the battle against the cancer. After the cancer went into remission, it returned in 2015. Throughout it all, Craig has continued to battle this sickness and has even returned to work for TNT.
ESPN has decided to honor Craig Sager with the “Jimmy V Perseverance Award,” an award given to someone who battles to overcome incredible obstacles and can be seen as someone everyone should admire. Jimmy Valvano (Jimmy V) coached North Carolina State University from 1980 to 1990, including a memorable run to a national championship in 1983. Valvano’s team entered the tournament as a 6-seed and marched all the way to the championship game to take down Houston’s famous “Phi Slama Jama.” If you are a sports fan, you’ll remember Valvano running around the court to find someone to hug after NC State won at the buzzer. Valvano passed away from cancer at the age of 47, creating the Jimmy V Foundation to help raise money for cancer research.
Craig Sager will continue to battle just as Jimmy V did. He will continue to march those sidelines, wearing a bright pink suit or any other color you can imagine, being the professional he always is. There’s no better recipient of the Jimmy V award. Congrats to Craig Sager for winning something so special.
Thanks to ESPN and Wikipedia for the story and information.