Craig Sager, a longtime on-air reporter for Turner Sports, has died after a long battle with cancer; he was 65 years old.
Turner Broadcasting confirmed the news in a statement on Thursday. Sager was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2014 and missed covering that year’s NBA playoffs as a result. But he fought his way back to cover the sport of basketball over the past two years, earning the Jimmy V Perserverance Award at this year’s ESPYs as a tribute to his resilience.
Sager has been covering sports for TNT and TBS for more than three decades, mostly as a sideline reporter for the NBA. He was known for his flamboyant suits and vast knowledge of basketball, interviewing players and coaches during and after games. He also covered the NCAA college basketball tournament for TBS, along with college football, major league baseball and the Goodwill Games.
“Craig Sager was a beloved member of the Turner family for more than three decades and has been a true inspiration to all of us,” Turner president David Levy said in a statement. “There will never be another Craig Sager. His incredible talent, tireless work ethic and commitment to his craft took him all over the world covering sports. While he will be remembered fondly for his colorful attire and the TNT sideline interviews he conducted with NBA coaches and players, it’s the determination, grace and will to live he displayed during his battle with cancer that will be his lasting impact.”