“Boo-Yah” ESPN Anchor Dies at 49

Chris Colella, Senior Sports Writer

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On January 4th, 2015, the world lost a man who completely changed the way we as fans look at sports, and life itself. As we mourn the loss of this f famous public figure to cancer, we look back on the life and journey of Stuart Scott.

Stuart Orlando Scott was born on July 19th, 1965, in Chicago, Illinois. When Scott was seven, he and his family decided to move to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Besides his parents, Scott had two sisters and one brother. After graduating from high school in 1983, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While Scott attended UNC, he played wide receiver and defensive back on the school’s club football team, and was part of the on-air talent at the student-run radio station WXYC. He went on to graduate from the University of North Carolina in 1987 earning a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications.

Following graduation from UNC, Scott worked as a news reporter and weekend sports anchor at a few different television stations. Scott later moved on to an NBC affiliate channel as a sports anchor and reporter. While there he met a man named Gus Ramsey, who was beginning a career as the ESPN producer. When asked about Scott, Ramsey said, “You knew the second he walked in the door that it was a pit stop, and that he was going to be this big star somewhere someday. He went out and did a piece on the rodeo, and he nailed it just like he would nail the NBA Finals for ESPN”.

Scott finally got his big break when the vice president of ESPN decided to bring him in for ESPN2; they were looking for anchors who could appeal to the younger audience and Scott fit the bill. He was an immediate hit on set, covering sports biggest stages, interviewing top sports figures, and doing it with a particular flair and style. There was a natural bond between sports and Scott like no one had ever seen before. He blended hip-hop culture and sports in a way never before seen, and created many familiar sports catch phrases we continue to use today—“Boo-Yah” being the most famous. Stuart would later earn one of the top anchor spots on the ESPN network, seen almost daily on ESPN and becoming awell-known, world-wide celberity.

After an appendectomy in November of 2007, Stuart got the news from doctors that no one ever wants to hear: he had cancer.  A few days after learning he had cancer, Scott went to New York to have his first of many surgeries. While undergoing chemotherapy in the months to follow, Scott continued to host ESPN coverage of several events and began an intensive martial arts workout routine. When he would return to his fellow colleagues at work, they all wanted to discuss his battle with cancer, but Scott simply wanted to talk sports. In 2011 the cancer returned, and not long after, he was again in remission. Sadly, the cancer returned for a third time on January 14th, 2013. After undergoing more chemo treatments, Scott would either train through mixed martial arts or would do a solid workout with P90X. By the year 2014, Scott had undergone 58 infusions of chemotherapy, switched to chemotherapy pills, undergone radiation and additional surgeries. Throughout all of this, Scott never wanted to know what stage of cancer he was in.

On July 16th, 2014, Scott was honored at the ESPY Awards with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award for his long fight with cancer. However, he wasn’t just awarded this for fighting cancer; he was awarded this because of the many lives he had touched over the past few years through his message of perseverance. Scott met with many others who were battling cancer bonded with them, and gave them advice on how they might overcome the curveballs that life sends our way.

In helping and changing the lives of many, he had also become closer with his two daughters Taelor and Sydni. Scott was a devoted father to his girls, and in this way, he was also an inspiration. In his award acceptance speech, Scott’s last moment in the big spotlight, the famous anchor said to millions watching: “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.” He ended his speech by telling us “Have a great rest of your night, have a great rest of your life.”

Thank you Stuart Scott for a phenomenal life lesson, for changing the way many look at sports today, and thank you for touching the lives of millions of people. You will be forever missed. espn_sscott_01_600x600

Sources: http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/12118296/stuart-scott-espn-anchor-dies-age-49

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