Stuart Scott, longtime ESPN anchor and UNC grad, dies at 49

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Stuart Scott

NEW YORK — Stuart Scott was the sports broadcaster that an entire generation of aspiring broadcasters wanted to be.

On Sunday, the veteran ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor died after a years-long battle with cancer, the network said Sunday. He was 49.

Scott was on the air for ESPN for 21 years, and his anchoring included coverage of NFL and NBA games.

His diagnosis came in November 2007, and ESPN said Scott “went through several surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and clinical trials to stay strong and ward off cancer for as long as humanly possible.”

On Sunday morning there was an immediate outpouring of love and grief from Scott’s longtime colleagues.

ESPN’s Rick Reilly wrote on Twitter that he was heartbroken: Scott “lived with such panache. He battled his disease with such dignity. Unforgettable man.”

Afternoon “SportsCenter” host Linda Cohn wrote, “I can’t believe he is gone. There was nobody like Stuart Scott, There will never be again. A big presence with even a bigger heart.”

Scott delivered a powerful speech in July about beating cancer as he was presented with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYS.

“When you die, it doesn’t mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner which you live. So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. That’s also very, very important.” – Stuart Scott

Stuart attended Mount Tabor High School for 9th and 10th grade and then finished up his last two years at RJ Reynolds High School, both in Winston-Salem. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.