January 4, 2015 / 4:08 PM / 4 years ago

Longtime ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott dies at age 49

(Reuters) - Longtime ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott, known for catchphases that became part of the lexicon of sports, has died of cancer, the network said on Sunday. He was 49.

A picture of ESPN broadcaster Stuart Scott is displayed on the scoreboard at Quicken Loans Arena during a moment of silence before the game between the Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

After first being diagnosed with cancer in November 2007 following an emergency appendectomy, Scott fought through three bouts of cancer, the network said.

“ESPN and everyone in the sports world have lost a true friend and a uniquely inspirational figure in Stuart Scott,” said ESPN president John Skipper in a statement.

During more than two decades with the network, Scott anchored ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” a sports news program, where he introduced such catchphrases as “boo-ya” and “as cool as the other side of the pillow.”

He also helped cover major sporting events such as the NBA Finals, the Super Bowl and the World Series and interviewed major sports figures, celebrities and politicians.

“Twenty years ago, Stu helped usher in a new way to talk about our favorite teams and the day’s best plays,” said President Barack Obama in a statement. “Over the years, he entertained us, and in the end, he inspired us – with courage and love.”

Sports superstars, such as the NBA’s LeBron James, flocked to social media to remember Scott.

“I am deeply saddened because not only will not be replaced as a anchor or reporter but more than that as a genuine cool person,” James said on an Instagram post.

Scott graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree. He worked at television stations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida before joining ESPN in 1993.

Scott was diagnosed with cancer in November 2007 after an emergency appendectomy revealed a malignancy, according to ESPN. In 2011, Scott was diagnosed with cancer and entered remission in 2012. A year later, he was again diagnosed with cancer, the network said.

At the ESPYS, an awards show aired each year on ESPN, Scott in 2014 accepted the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.

“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 said during his speech accepting the award named after college basketball coach Jimmy Valvano, who died of cancer in 1993.

Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Larry King and Meredith Mazzilli

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