ESPN Lost a Legend, but Heaven Gained an Angel

By Tyler Steinberg and Myles Cohen

On January 4, 2015, the sports fans of the United States of America and ESPN lost a legend.  Stuart Scott, 49, was a media icon, and he was arguably the best sportscaster in this generation.  He was the top anchor on ESPN’s “Sportscenter,” and he was also a Jimmy V Award Recipient.

Stuart Scott was born on July 19, 1965 in Chicago, Illinois, where he grew up.  He attended Richard J. Reynolds High School, where he graduated in 1983.  He then went to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications, played club football, and joined the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Before becoming a well-known sportscaster, Scott was a news reporter for multiple small news channels in both North Carolina and South Carolina.  His colleagues saw the talent that Stuart Scott had in the sports category of the news, and he soon received a job offer from NBC in Orlando, Florida that he could not give up.

After working for NBC from 1990-1993, he was brought on to ESPN because he seemed like he would be “appealing to a younger audience,” according to Al Jaffe, ESPN’s vice president for talent.

Scott did not start as a top sportscaster; he had to work hard to get to where he was.  He started as a sportscaster for ESPN’s “SportsSmash.”  He worked hard during this time, and he earned his spot at Sportscenter’s prime-time coverage for NFL, NBA, MLB, and the NCAA Final Four.

According to Suzy Kolber, one of Stuart’s colleagues, on espn.go.com, “Stuart spoke a much different language that appealed to a young demographic, particularly a young African-American demographic…When he went to ESPN, Stuart didn’t change his style, and there was some resistance.

Even I encouraged him to maybe take a more traditional approach, but he had a strong conviction about who he wanted to be, and the voice he wanted to project, and clearly, he was right, and we were wrong.”

Aside from his fame as a well-known sportscaster, Stuart was also an inspiration to cancer patients everywhere.  In 2007, Stuart Scott was diagnosed with cancer in his appendix, which affected his daily life and the way he lived. Even though he had this disease, it did not stop him from doing what he loved to do.  Every single day was a struggle for him, but he fought a great fight and did everything he had to do to live as long as he did.

Before he passed, he was a recipient of the Jimmy V Award, an award given to athletes, inspirational celebrities, or others who have made a huge impact in society, particularly in sports.

Stuart Scott will always be one of the top sportscasters of all time, and he will deeply be missed by many.