An icon, a legend, and an extraordinary sportscaster, Stuart Scott, passed away weeks ago on January 4, 2014. He was 49 years old.
Stuart Scott was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 19, 1965, living with his two sisters, one brother and his parents. The family later moved to WInston-Salem, North Carolina, where Scott participated in multiple sports such as football and track. He also participated in a numerous amount of clubs, until his graduation in 1983.
After graduation, Scott attended the University of North Carolina where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication. From there, Scott traveled to Florence, South Carolina where he was a news reporter and weekend sports anchor for a local news station, WPDE-TV. Scott also travelled back to North Carolina and then to Florida for different career opportunities at different TV stations.
Scott got much attention at his job in Orlando, Florida, where he delivered a story on a local rodeo and proved to many just how talented he had become. “He went out and did a piece on the rodeo, and he nailed it just like he would nail the NBA Finals for ESPN,” said ESPN producer, Gus Ramsey, who was just beginning his career while Scott was in Florida. Scott’s talent would pay off, when ESPN vice president, Al Jaffe, offered him a spot on ESPN2, hoping to appeal to younger audiences.
This paid off, as Scott and his hip-hop style, as well as his many memorable catchphrases, caused him to skyrocket throughout the ranks of ESPN. He appeared on many different shows and segments, such as SportsNight, Sportsmash and eventually SportsCenter.
Scott’s rising through the ranks of ESPN left both an impression on his audiences and co-hosts. He was known by many for his flamboyant attitude and the way in which he delivered the news of sports to his viewers. His many famous catchphrases such as “Boo-Yah!” and “As cool as the other side of the pillow” are one of the many things audiences and many in general remember about him.
While Scott’s life was full of success, he hit a milestone in his life that would change it forever. Scott was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, after having a severe stomachache. Scott went to the hospital where he had his appendix removed. Upon removal, doctors discovered he had developed cancer and treatment began almost immediately. Scott went in remission until 2011 and then again in late 2013.
Even with cancer now threatening Scott, he remained the same, positive sportscaster and person that everyone loved. He also became even more of an inspiration to others, especially to cancer patients across the nation.
While at the 2014 ESPY awards show, Scott won the Jimmy V award for his ongoing fight against cancer. His acceptance speech has been quoted again and again by millions of people, as it was as inspiring and fantastic as the man who delivered it. “He owned it like he owned every sportscast, every Sportscenter cast, every Monday Night Football show we did, he owned it.” said fellow ESPN employee Sage Steele. ”It was Stuart. It was perfect.”
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” Scott said during his speech. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”
As news of his death spread throughout the nation, sporting events across the nation were silent as fans and athletes mourned Scott’s death. The University of North Carolina added a patch on their boy’s basketball jerseys saying “STU”. SportsCenter and its members left an empty chair behind the desk on the main stage, honoring their lost colleague, and long-time friend, Rich Eisen, delivered a heart-felt goodbye to his former co-host.
Stuart Scott may be gone, but he will never be forgotten. His words and legendary career will live on with everyone he inspired.
Good-bye Stu and thanks for everything. Boo-Yah!