At the 2016 ESPYS, Little League® alum Craig Sager will be presented with the Jimmy V Award, an honor that acknowledges someone in sports who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination. Mr. Sager, a popular Turner Sports reporter, has been fighting acute myeloid leukemia for more than two years. The award was named after the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator.
Mr. Sager played for the Batavia Little League in Batavia, Ill., in the early 1960s. His teammate was former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback, Ken Anderson. His courage and perseverance reflect the embodiment of Little League.
"Craig's positive attitude and passion have always been cornerstones of the coverage he does for TNT and those attributes are a large part of what endears him to fans," Maura Mandt, executive producer of the ESPYS, said in a statement. "He serves as an inspiration to many as he continues his work while battling this devastating disease."
Mr. Sager will be presented with the Jimmy V Award by another Little League graduate, Vice President, Joe Biden, who is also a member of the Little League Hall of Excellence. Vice President Biden began playing baseball at the Green Ridge Little League in Scranton, Pa.
“Like Jimmy Valvano, Craig Sager embodies the best of who we are as Americans,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “For four decades Craig’s been the go-to-guy on the sidelines for us to better understand a game we love and its place in our culture. But in the real game of life, he’s teaching all of us something bigger—how to live life with purpose, determination, and love. On behalf of all Americans, and cancer patients and their families who he inspires every day, I’m honored to be presenting Craig with an award that reminds us as a nation that we can never give up in our fight to end cancer as we know it.”
At February’s State of the Union Address, Mr. Biden was tasked with leading the “Moonshot” effort to find a cure for cancer. Mr. Biden tragically lost his son, Beau to the disease. Mr. Biden’s son played Little League in Delaware.
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded nearly $150 million in cancer research grants nationwide.