Craig Sager Promises He "Will Never Give Up" When Accepting the Jimmy V Award at 2016 ESPYs

Beloved sideline reporter survived a two-year fight with acute myeloid leukemia public

By Mike Vulpo Jul 14, 2016 2:49 AMTags
Craig Sager, ESPY Awards 2016 ABC

Tonight was the night to celebrate one of sports' most beloved sideline reporters. Yes, we're talking about Craig Sager.

Vice President Joe Biden appeared at the 2016 ESPY Awards to honor the broadcaster with the Jimmy V Award. "By his conduct, he teaches us how to live with perseverance and passion," he shared with the audience. "[He is] fearless, hopeful, together." 

With tears in his eyes, Craig appeared on stage to thank his wife also known as his "heaven on earth" as well as his sports family. 

"If there's anything I've learned through all of this, it's that each and every day is an opportunity for fun, for love, for living, for learning," he shared. "To those out there who are suffering from cancer, facing adversity, I want you to know that your will to live can make all the difference in the world. The way you think influences the way you feel and the way you feel determines how you act."

As for Craig himself, the broadcaster expressed his positivity at what could come with his battle including the hope that he will continue to "watch those amazing feats" from athletes. 

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"I always see the glass half full. I see the beauty in others and I see the hope in tomorrow," he explained. "If we don't have hope or faith, we have nothing.
I will never give up and I will never give in. I will continue to keep fighting." 

Basketball fans easily know Craig as the sideline reporter for Turner Sports who can always win big with his bright, colorful suits.

They also know his brave two-year fight with acute myeloid leukemia that Sports Illustrated highlighted on a recent cover issue. When the article was published in April, Craig had undergone two bone marrow transplants, 21 bone marrow biopsies and more than 20 chemo cycles.

"A patient who battles this past a year is amazing," said his doctor, Naveen Pemmaraju. "What he's done is almost miraculous."

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Craig's health also caught the attention of players and NBA officials. Dwight Howard hosted a blood drive for the reporter, Steph Curry interrupted an interview to call Craig an "inspiration" and Commissioner Adam Silver even came to visit him in the hospital.

"You're as important to the NBA as players or coaches or owners," Adam shared with Craig.

"There is no one else like him. I can't even keep him. He has so much energy," his wife Stacy Sager shared during the show. "He's so positive and so caring for people all the time. It's his turn to receive the love." 

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