Longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died recently from cancer. He was only 49 years old.
Scott, who was diagnosed with cancer back in 2007, battled recurring bouts of the disease but continued in his career as an award-winning sports journalist. Just last year, he delivered an epic speech about his fight with cancer at the ESPYs, when accepting the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
During his acceptance speech, he said, “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”
Scott was particularly known for his NBA, NFL and MLB commentary, and his signature phrases such as “Boo-Yah!” and “As cool as the other side of the pillow.” Other phrases included: “Just call him butter cause he’s on a roll!” and “Call him carwash cause he’s automatic!” He also is credited for infusing hip-hop culture in his commentary.
“He didn’t just push the envelope,” said former ESPN anchor and current radio host, Dan Patrick. “He bulldozed it.”
ESPN personality Jemele Hill, commented, “I can never put into words what an incredible person Stuart Scott was. Truly one of the best people I’ve ever met in my life.”
President Obama, who played a few minutes of one-on-one basketball with Scott during his 2008 campaign, commented, “Stu helped usher in a new way to talk about our favorite teams and the day’s best plays.”
Scott was born in Chicago, but grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C. where he graduated from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications. He went on to work at TV stations in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida before joining the ESPN in 1993.
He is survived by his girlfriend Kristin Spodobalski, and two daughters – Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15.