Longtime ESPN sportscaster Scott dies of cancer

Stuart Scott was in his element, working a “Monday Night Football” game, when he was forced to leave for an appendix operation.

Stuart Scott was in his element, working a “Monday Night Football” game, when he was forced to leave for an appendix operation.

Doctors discovered a tumour during surgery and Scott was diagnosed with cancer. But he made a point of continuing to live his life – at work and outside of it.

“You beat cancer by how you live,” he would later say. “So live. Live. Fight like hell.”

That fight ended Sunday when Scott, the longtime “SportsCenter” anchor and ESPN personality known for his enthusiasm and ubiquity, died at age 49.

Scott remained dedicated to his craft even as he suffered through chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement that Scott was “a true friend and a uniquely inspirational figure” and that his “energetic and unwavering devotion to his family and to his work while fighting the battle of his life left us in awe, and he leaves a void that can never be replaced.”

Skipper also marveled at Scott’s dedication to keep fighting – literally.

“Who engages in mixed martial arts training in the midst of chemotherapy treatments?” Skipper said. “Who leaves a hospital procedure to return to the set?”

Fans and players at games around the United States on Sunday stopped to observe moments of silence, including at the Bengals-Colts NFL playoff game in Indianapolis, the Mavericks-Cavaliers NBA game in Cleveland and at several college basketball games.

Some of the world’s most famous athletes expressed their grief online. 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,” Tiger Woods said on Twitter.

In July, Scott accepted the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYs. During his speech, he told his teenage daughters: “Taelor and Sydni, I love you guys more than I will ever be able to express. You two are my heartbeat. I am standing on this stage here tonight because of you.”

Scott is also survived by his parents, O. Ray and Jacqueline Scott; siblings Stephen Scott, Synthia Kearney and Susan Scott; his daughters Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15; and girlfriend Kristin Spodobalski.

On Sunday morning, NFL Network broadcaster Rich Eisen’s voice broke as he reported the death of his good friend, with whom he worked on “SportsCenter” broadcasts.

“I love this man,” Eisen said.

ESPN anchor Hannah Storm called him “our colleague, our friend and our inspiration” as she reported the news. On the network’s NFL pregame show, Chris Berman said, “Stuart made ESPN what it is, he made us better people.”

Before North Carolina’s women’s basketball team tipped off against N.C. State, the arena observed a moment of silence for Scott, and the videoboard proclaimed the 1987 graduate “Forever a Tar Heel.”

Born in Chicago, Scott attended high school in North Carolina before going to UNC. He returned to Chapel Hill as the university’s commencement speaker in 2001.

Scott worked at three TV stations in the southern U.S. before joining ESPN for the 1993 launch of its ESPN2 network, hosting short sports update segments.

He often anchored the 11 p.m. “SportsCenter,” where he would punctuate highlights with an emphatic “Boo-ya!” or note a slick move as being “as cool as the other side of the pillow.”

Scott went on to cover countless major events for the network, including the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series and NCAA basketball tournament. He also interviewed President Barack Obama, joining him for a televised game of one on one.

“I will miss Stuart Scott,” Obama said in a statement. “Stu helped usher in a new way to talk about our favourite 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. … Michelle and I offer our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and colleagues.”

In July, when he accepted the ESPY award named for former N.C. State coach Jim Valvano, who died of cancer in 1993, Scott shared what he had learned from his struggle: “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.

“So live. Live. Fight like hell.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

If you're heading out to the West Country have a plan in case things go wrong, says Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services fire chief Steve Debienne.
(Photo from CRFRS Facebook)
West Country visitors should have an emergency plan: regional fire chief

Cellphones can’t be relied on in many back country areas

Rode
Sarcevic leads an impressive list of additions to RDC Kings soccer

In 2019 the RDC Kings soccer program took a major step forward… Continue reading

The Red Deer PCN Women's Fun Run will take on a different look this weekend with rising COVID-19 numbers.
Women’s Fun Run goes ahead this weekend in Red Deer

With new public health measures in place because of rising COVID-19 case… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw asked Albertans to limit travel throughout the province as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears 900 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports additional 2,211 COVID-19 cases

David Eggen, the NDP’s advanced education critic, said the UCP government has been focused on cutting funding to post-secondary institutions across Alberta. (Contributed photo)
NDP worry new status for Red Deer College doesn’t mean more funding

This week the province announced that RDC will become a polytechnic institute

Alberta Health Services locked the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror on Wednesday morning after owner Christopher Scott refused to comply with health orders. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)
UPDATED: AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

Justice minister promises to get tough with those ignoring public health orders

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Family looking for answers: Woman with vaccine side-effects died of blood clot

Family looking for answers: Woman with vaccine side-effects died of blood clot

‘Uniquely reprehensible’: No parole for 35 years for Calgary man in triple murder

‘Uniquely reprehensible’: No parole for 35 years for Calgary man in triple murder

A sign is seen at a walk-in COVID-19 in Montreal on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
NACI chair says advice not meant to give AstraZeneca recipients vaccine remorse

NACI chair says advice not meant to give AstraZeneca recipients vaccine remorse

People in Peel region line up outside the University of Toronto Mississauga campus for the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Mississauga, Ont., on Thursday, May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Promising pandemic signs in Ontario, Quebec as urgency shifts to N.S., Alberta

Promising pandemic signs in Ontario, Quebec as urgency shifts to N.S., Alberta

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves upon departure from Boryspil International airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 6, 2021. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met with top Ukrainian officials in Kyiv and reaffirmed Washington's support for the country in the wake of heightened tensions with Russia. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, Pool)
US says fate of nuclear pact up to Iran as talks resume

US says fate of nuclear pact up to Iran as talks resume

People embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Authorities say a shooting at the eastern Idaho middle school has injured two students and a custodian, and a male student has been taken into custody. (John Roark /The Idaho Post-Register via AP)
Sheriff: Girl shoots 3 at Idaho school; teacher disarms her

Sheriff: Girl shoots 3 at Idaho school; teacher disarms her

The Cineplex Odeon Theatre at Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto is shown on December 16, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
Cineplex hopes for brighter summer blockbuster season as it reports quarterly loss

Cineplex hopes for brighter summer blockbuster season as it reports quarterly loss

FILE - David Oyelowo posing for a portrait in New York on April 8, 2019. Oyelowo makes his directorial debut in “The Water Man," which arrives in theaters Friday. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File)
David Oyelowo fulfills new directing passion in ‘Water Man’

David Oyelowo fulfills new directing passion in ‘Water Man’

Most Read