Longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott has been waging a public war against appendiceal cancer, while maintaining a relatively normal life. During last night’s ESPY Awards broadcast, Scott received an award and delivered an emotional acceptance speech.
Scott was given the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, which was named after famed North Carolina State Mens’s basketball coach Jimmy Valvano who died from cancer in 1993. 24 Actor Kiefer Sutherland announced the award, which led to a humorous opening bit where Scott joked that getting the nod from Jack Bauer was better than hanging with the celebrities in attendance.
The speech’s tone changed there, with Scott humbly addressing that he’s presented the award in the past and what it mean to win it now. Realizing his notoriety and fight with cancer makes him a worthy candidate, he deferred to the words of Valvano who famously said in 1993 “Don’t give up…don’t ever give up” in a now famous television moment.
Scott also revealed he had four surgeries in the span of seven days and liver complications, once thinking he wouldn’t be able to make the awards show. With amazing precision, Scott stood valiantly onstage stating that he wouldn’t give up. But nothing could replace the raw emotion that hit everyone in the room that night when he devoted his award to his two daughters. And in the end of the speech, he called his 14-year-old daughter, Sydni, to give him a hug in the end.
Powerful stuff. Congrats to Stuart Scott for winning the honor.
Watch Stuart Scott’s Jimmy V Perseverance Award acceptance at the 2014 ESPY Awards in the clip below.