Stuart Scott

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Stuart Scott
Stuart Scott 2010b.jpg
Scott in 2010
Stuart Orlando Scott

(1965-07-19)July 19, 1965
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJanuary 4, 2015(2015-01-04) (aged 49)
Resting placeRaleigh Memorial Park, Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
Alma mater University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Occupation Sportscaster
Years active1987–2014
Kimberly Scott(m. 19932007)

Stuart Orlando Scott (July 19, 1965 – January 4, 2015) was an American sportscaster and anchor on ESPN, most notably on SportsCenter . Well known for his hip-hop style and use of catchphrases, Scott was also a regular for the network in its National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Football League (NFL) coverage.

Sports commentator sports broadcaster who comments a live event

In sports broadcasting, a sports commentator gives a running commentary of a game or event in real time, usually during a live broadcast, traditionally delivered in the historical present tense. Radio was the first medium for sports broadcasts, and radio commentators must describe all aspects of the action to listeners who cannot see it for themselves. In the case of televised sports coverage, commentators are usually presented as a voiceover, with images of the contest shown on viewers' screens and sounds of the action and spectators heard in the background. Television commentators are rarely shown on screen during an event, though some networks choose to feature their announcers on camera either before or after the contest or briefly during breaks in the action.

Anchor Device used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting

An anchor is a device, normally made of metal, used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting due to wind or current. The word derives from Latin ancora, which itself comes from the Greek ἄγκυρα (ankura).

ESPN is a U.S.-based pay television sports channel owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture owned by The Walt Disney Company (80%) and Hearst Communications (20%). The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Rasmussen and Ed Egan.


Scott grew up in North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his career with various local television stations before joining ESPN in 1993. Although there were already accomplished African-American sportscasters, his blending of hip hop with sportscasting was unique for television. By 2008, he was a staple in ESPN's programming, [1] and also began on ABC as lead host for their coverage of the NBA.

North Carolina State of the United States of America

North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States. North Carolina is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west. Raleigh is the state's capital and Charlotte is its largest city. The Charlotte metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 2,569,213 in 2018, is the most populous metropolitan area in North Carolina and the 23rd-most populous in the United States and the largest banking center in the nation after New York City. North Carolina's second largest metropolitan area is the Research Triangle, which is home to the largest research park in the United States.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), also known as UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, or simply Carolina is a public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is the flagship of the 17 campuses of the University of North Carolina system. After being chartered in 1789, the university first began enrolling students in 1795, which also allows it to be one of three schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States. Among the claimants, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the only one to have held classes and graduated students as a public university in the eighteenth century.

American Broadcasting Company American broadcast television network

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building, But the network's second corporate headquarters and News headquarters remains in New York City, New York at their broadcast center on 77 West 66th Street in Lincoln Square in Upper West Side Manhattan.

In 2007, Scott had an appendectomy and learned that his appendix was cancerous. [2] After going into remission, he was again diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and 2013. Scott was honored at the ESPY Awards in 2014 with the Jimmy V Award for his fight against cancer, less than six months before his death in 2015 at the age of 49.

ESPY Award

An ESPY Award is an accolade currently presented by the American broadcast television network ABC, and previously ESPN, to recognize individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance during the calendar year preceding a given annual ceremony. The first ESPYs were awarded in 1993. Because of the ceremony's rescheduling prior to the 2002 iteration thereof, awards presented in 2002 were for achievement and performances during the seventeen-plus previous months. As the similarly styled Grammy, Emmy, Academy Award, and Tony, the ESPYs are hosted by a contemporary celebrity; the style, though, is more relaxed, light, and self-referential than that of many other awards shows, with comedic sketches usually included.

Jimmy V Award

The Jimmy V Award is awarded as part of the ESPY Awards to "a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination". The award is named in honor of North Carolina State University men's basketball coach Jim Valvano, who gave an acceptance speech after receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 1993 ESPY Awards ceremony which "brought a howling, teary-eyed Madison Square Garden to its feet". Valvano died from adenocarcinoma two months after receiving the award. The Jimmy V Award trophy, designed by sculptor Lawrence Nowlan, is presented at the annual awards ceremony in Los Angeles by The V Foundation, a charitable organization founded by ESPN and Valvano in 1993, involved in raising money to fund cancer research grants across the United States.

Early life

Stuart Orlando Scott [3] was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 19, 1965 as the son of O. Ray and Jacqueline Scott. When he was 7, Scott and his family moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. [4] [5] Scott had a brother named Stephen and two sisters named Susan and Synthia. [4]

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.

Illinois State of the United States of America

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina City in North Carolina, United States

Winston-Salem is a city in and the county seat of Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States. With a 2019 estimated population of 251,907 it is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region, the fifth most populous city in North Carolina, and the eighty-ninth most populous city in the United States. With a metropolitan population of 676,673 it is the fourth largest metropolitan area in North Carolina and is expected to keep that fourth spot for many more years. Winston-Salem is home to the tallest office building in the region, 100 North Main Street, formerly the Wachovia Building and now known locally as the Wells Fargo Center.

He attended Mount Tabor High School for 9th and 10th grade and then completed his last two years at Richard J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, graduating in 1983. [6] In high school, he was a captain of his football team, ran track, served as Vice President of the Student Council, and was the Sergeant at Arms of the school's Key Club. [5] [6] Scott was inducted into the Richard J. Reynolds High School Hall of Fame during a ceremony on February 6, 2015, which took place during the Reynolds/Mt. Tabor (the two high schools that Scott attended) basketball game. [6]

Mount Tabor High School

Mount Tabor High School is a high school located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It is part of the WS/FCS School System. As of 2011, Mount Tabor has a student population of over 1,600 9th through 12th grade students and is a North Carolina 3A school. Mount Tabor was previously part of the Metro 4-A Conference, but is currently a member of the Piedmont Triad Conference. In 2012, Mount Tabor was ranked #818 out of the top 1,000 United States public high schools. Mount Tabor is known rivals with nearby Reynolds High School, West Forsyth High School, and, more recently, Reagan High School.

Richard J. Reynolds High School

Richard J. Reynolds High School now the Richard J. Reynolds Magnet School for the Visual and Performing Arts is a high school in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Named for R. J. Reynolds, the founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the school opened in 1923. The school colors are black and gold, and the school's mascot is a Demon.

He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and was part of the on-air talent at WXYC. [4] While at UNC, Scott also played wide receiver and defensive back on the football team. [4] In 1987, Scott graduated from the UNC with a B.A. in speech communication. [4] In 2001, Scott gave the commencement address at UNC. [7]

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (ΑΦΑ) is the first African-American, intercollegiate Greek-lettered fraternity. It was initially a literary and social studies club organized in the 1905–1906 school year at Cornell University but later evolved into a fraternity with a founding date of December 4, 1906, at Cornell. It employs an icon from Ancient Egypt, the Great Sphinx of Giza, as its symbol. Its aims are "Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love For All Mankind," and its motto is "First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All." Its archives are preserved at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.

WXYC is an American radio station broadcasting a college radio format. Licensed to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States, the station is run by students of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The station is owned by Student Educational Broadcasting, Inc. The station operates with an effective radiated power of 1,100 Watts from an antenna height above average terrain of 147 meters.

A wide receiver, also referred to as wideouts or simply receivers, is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is a key player. They get their name because they are split out "wide", farthest away from the rest of the team. Wide receivers are among the fastest players on the field. The wide receiver functions as the pass-catching specialist.


Following graduation, Scott worked as a news reporter and weekend sports anchor at WPDE-TV in Florence, South Carolina from 1987 until 1988. [8] [9] Scott came up with the phrase "as cool as the other side of the pillow" while working his first job at WPDE. [10] After this, Scott worked as a news reporter at WRAL-TV 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina from 1988 until 1990. [11] WRAL Sports anchor Jeff Gravley recalled there was a "natural bond" between Scott and the sports department. [11] Gravley described his style as creative, gregarious and adding so much energy to the newsroom. [11] Even after leaving, Scott still visited his former colleagues at WRAL and treated them like family. [11]

From 1990 until 1993, Scott worked at WESH, an NBC affiliate in Orlando, Florida as a sports reporter and sports anchor. While at WESH, he met ESPN producer Gus Ramsey, who was beginning his own career. [12] Ramsey said of Scott: "You knew the second he walked in the door that it was a pit stop, and that he was gonna 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." [12] He earned first place honors from the Central Florida Press Club for a feature on rodeo. [13]


Al Jaffe, ESPN's vice president for talent, brought Scott to ESPN2 because they were looking for sportscasters who might appeal to a younger audience. [12] [14] Scott became one of the few African-American personalities who was not a former professional athlete. [15] His first ESPN assignments were for SportsSmash, a short sportscast twice an hour on ESPN2's SportsNight program. [12] After Keith Olbermann left SportsNight for ESPN's SportsCenter , Scott took his place in the anchor chair at SportsNight. [12] After this, Scott was a regular on SportsCenter. [12] At SportsCenter, Scott was frequently teamed with fellow anchors Steve Levy, Kenny Mayne, Dan Patrick, and most notably, Rich Eisen. [16] Scott was a regular in the This is SportsCenter commercials. [17]

In 2002, Scott was named studio host for the NBA on ESPN . He became lead host in 2008, when he also began at ABC in the same capacity for its NBA coverage, which included the NBA Finals. Additionally, Scott anchored SportsCenter's prime-time coverage from the site of NBA post-season games. [13] From 1997 until 2014, he covered the league's finals. [13] During the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals, Scott did one-on-one interviews with Michael Jordan. [13] When Monday Night Football moved to ESPN in 2006, Scott hosted on-site coverage, including Monday Night Countdown and post-game SportsCenter coverage. Scott previously appeared on NFL Primetime during the 1997 season, Monday Night Countdown from 2002 to 2005, and Sunday NFL Countdown from 1999 to 2001. [13] Scott also covered the MLB playoffs and NCAA Final Four in 1995 for ESPN. [13]

Scott appeared in each issue of ESPN the Magazine , with his Holla column. During his work at ESPN, he also interviewed Tiger Woods, Sammy Sosa, President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. [13] As a part of the interview with President Barack Obama, Scott played in a one-on-one basketball game with the President. [18] In 2004, per the request of U.S. troops, Scott and fellow SportsCenter co-anchors hosted a week of programs originating from Kuwait for ESPN's SportsCenter: Salute the Troops. [13] He hosted a number of ESPN game and reality shows, including Stump the Schwab , Teammates, and Dream Job , and hosted David Blaine's Drowned Alive special. He hosted a special and only broadcast episode of America's Funniest Home Videos called AFV: The Sports Edition. [13]

Scott at ESPN The Weekend, 2008 Stuart Scott 2008.jpg
Scott at ESPN The Weekend, 2008


While there were already successful African-American sportscasters, [19] Scott blended hip-hop culture and sports in a way that had never been seen before on television. [20] He talked in the same manner as fans would at home. [15] ESPN director of news Vince Doria told ABC: "But Stuart spoke a much different language ... that appealed to a young demographic, particularly a young African-American demographic." [21] Michael Wilbon wrote that Scott allowed his personality to infuse the coverage and his emotion to pour out. [22]

Scott also integrated pop culture references into his reports. [23] [24] One commentator remembered his style: "he could go from evoking a Baptist preacher riffing during Sunday morning service ('Can I get a witness from the congregation?!'), to quoting Public Enemy frontman Chuck D ('Hear the drummer get WICKED!') [25] In 1999, he was parodied on Saturday Night Live by Tim Meadows. [26] Scott appeared in music videos with the rappers LL Cool J and Luke, and he was cited in "3 Peat", a Lil Wayne song that included the line: "Yeah, I got game like Stuart Scott, fresh out the ESPN shop." [5] In a 2002 segment of NPR's On the Media , Scott revealed one approach to his anchoring duties: "Writing is better if it's kept simple. Every sentence doesn't need to have perfect noun/verb agreement. I've said 'ain't' on the air. Because I sometimes use 'ain't' when I'm talking." [15]

As a result of his unique style, Scott and ESPN received a lot of hate mail from people who resented his color, his hip-hop style, or his generation. [12] In a 2003 USA Today survey, Scott finished first in the question of which anchor should be voted off SportsCenter, but he also was second to Dan Patrick in the 'definitely keep him' voting. [27] Jason Whitlock criticized Scott's use of Jay-Z's alternate nickname, "Jigga", at halftime of Monday Night Football as ridiculous and offensive. [28] Scott never changed his style and ESPN stuck with him. [15]


Scott became well known for his use of catch phrases, following in the SportsCenter tradition begun by Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann. [29] He popularized the phrase booyah, which spread from sports into mainstream culture. [1] [23] Some of the catchphrases included:


ESPN president John Skipper said Scott's flair and style, which he used to talk about the athletes he was covering, "changed everything." [12] Fellow ESPN Anchor, Stan Verrett, said he was a trailblazer: "not only because he was black – obviously black – but because of his style, his demeanor, his presentation. He did not shy away from the fact that he was a black man, and that allowed the rest of us who came along to just be ourselves." [12] He became a role model for African-American sports journalists. [19] [34]

Personal life

Scott was married to Kimberly Scott from 1993 to 2007. [35] [36] They had two daughters together, Taelor and Sydni. Scott lived in Avon, Connecticut. [4] At the time of his death, Scott was in a relationship with Kristin Spodobalski. [37] During his Jimmy V Award 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." [38]

Eye injury

Scott was injured when he was hit in the face by a football during a New York Jets mini-camp on April 3, 2002, while filming a special for ESPN, a blow that damaged his cornea. [39] He received surgery but afterwards suffered from ptosis, or drooping of the eyelid. [40]

Appendectomy and cancer

After leaving Connecticut on a Sunday morning in 2007 for Monday Night Football in Pittsburgh, Scott had a stomachache. After the stomachache worsened, he went to the hospital instead of the game and later had his appendix removed. [2] [41] After testing the appendix, doctors learned that he had cancer. [2] Two days later, he had surgery in New York that removed part of his colon and some of his lymph nodes near the appendix. [2] After the surgery, they recommended preventive chemotherapy. [42] By December, Scott—while undergoing chemotherapy—hosted Friday night ESPN NBA coverage and led the coverage of ABC's NBA Christmas Day studio show. [43] Scott worked out while undergoing chemotherapy. [2] Scott said of his experience with cancer at the time: "One of the coolest things about having cancer, and I know that sounds like an oxymoron, is meeting other people who've had to fight it. You have a bond. It's like a fraternity or sorority." [2] When Scott returned to work and people knew of his cancer diagnosis, the well-wishers felt overbearing for him as he just wanted to talk about sports, not cancer. [2]

The cancer returned in 2011, but it eventually went back into remission. [44] He was again diagnosed with cancer on January 14, 2013. [45] After chemo, Scott would do mixed martial arts and/or a P90X workout regimen. [41] [44] By 2014, he had undergone 58 infusions of chemotherapy and switched to chemotherapy pills. [41] Scott also went under radiation and multiple surgeries as a part of his cancer treatment. [38] Scott never wanted to know what stage of cancer he was in. [41]

Jimmy V Award

On July 16, 2014, Scott was honored at the ESPY Awards, with the Jimmy V Award for his ongoing battle against cancer. He shared that he had 4 surgeries in 7 days in the week prior to his appearance, when he was suffering from liver complications and kidney failure. [4] Scott told the audience, "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." [46] At the ESPYs, a video was also shown that included scenes of Scott from a clinic room at Johns Hopkins Hospital and other scenes from Scott's life fighting cancer. [47] Scott ended the speech by calling his daughter up to the stage for a hug, "because I need one," and telling the audience to "have a great rest of your night, have a great rest of your life." [4] [48]


On the morning of January 4, 2015, Scott died of appendix cancer in his home in Avon, Connecticut, at the age of 49. [49]


ESPN announced: "Stuart Scott, a dedicated family man and one of ESPN's signature SportsCenter anchors, has died after a courageous and inspiring battle with cancer. He was 49." [50] ESPN released a video obituary of Scott. [12] Sports Illustrated called ESPN's video obituary a beautiful and moving tribute to a man who died "at the too-damn-young age of 49." [51] Barack Obama paid tribute to Scott, saying: [52]

A UNC student featured on ESPN's broadcast of the Notre Dame-UNC basketball game on January 5, 2015, honoring Scott with his trademark "Boo Yah" saying. Boo Yah.jpg
A UNC student featured on ESPN's broadcast of the Notre Dame-UNC basketball game on January 5, 2015, honoring Scott with his trademark "Boo Yah" saying.

I will miss Stuart Scott. Twenty years ago, Stuart helped usher in a new way to talk about our favorite teams and the day's best plays. For much of those twenty 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. Over the years, he entertained us, and in the end, he inspired us – with courage and love. Michelle and I offer our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues.

A number of National Basketball Association athletes—current and former—paid tribute to Scott, including Stephen Curry, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jason Collins, Shaquille O'Neal, Magic Johnson, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Bruce Bowen, Dennis Rodman, James Worthy and others. [53] [54] A number of golfers paid tribute to Scott: Tiger Woods, Gary Player, David Duval, Lee Westwood, Blair O'Neal, Jane Park and others. [55] Other athletes paid tribute including Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Jon Lester, Lance Armstrong, Barry Sanders, J. J. Watt, David Ortiz and Sheryl Swoopes. [54] UNC basketball coach Roy Williams called him a "hero." [48] Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said: "We lost a football game but we lost more this morning. I think one of the best members of the media I've ever dealt with, Stuart Scott, passed away." [56]

Colleagues Hannah Storm and Rich Eisen gave on-air remembrances of Scott. [57] On SportsCenter, Scott Van Pelt and Steve Levy said farewell to Scott and left a chair empty in his honor. [58] Tom Jackson, Cris Carter, Chris Berman, Mike Ditka and Keyshawn Johnson from NFL Countdown shared their memories of Scott. [59]

During Ernie Johnson, Jr.'s acceptance speech for his 2015 Sports Emmy Award for Best Studio Host, he gave his award to Scott's daughters, saying it "belongs with Stuart Scott". [60] At the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards and at the 2015 ESPY Awards, Scott was included in the "in memoriam" segment, a rare honor for a sports broadcaster.

On Fox Sports Live on FS1 the broadcast team of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Chris Myers paid tribute to Stuart Scott from Fox gamesite, also Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole along with Fox NFL Sunday crew anchored by Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson also paid tribute to Stuart Scott on behalf of Fox Sports.




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  1. 1 2 Strauss, Chris (January 4, 2015). "ESPN's Stuart Scott dies after lengthy battle with cancer". USA Today. Archived from the original on January 5, 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bensinger, Graham (September 15, 2008). "ESPN's Stuart Scott Speaks Out About Being Diagnosed with Cancer". Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  3. University of North Carolina. "Stuart Orlando Scott '87". Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Stuart Scott Accepts Jimmy V Award". Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 Sandomir, Richard. "Stuart Scott, ESPN's Voice of Exuberance, Dies at 49". Accessed January 6, 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 "Reynolds High School Classmates Remember Stuart Scott". Archived from the original on January 8, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
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