NBA and NCAA sideline reporter Craig Sager is fighting a serious battle against leukemia and was given some words of wisdom from a great fighter in his own right—former heavyweight champion George Foreman—Saturday night at the Final Four in Houston.
Foreman, in a touching presentation, gave Sager a pair of signed boxing gloves.
The touching message George Foreman left Craig Sager in a pair of signed boxing gloves: https://t.co/NYzeSrehkO
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) April 3, 2016
Foreman shared what he wrote on the gloves as he presented them to Sager. “Craig, we fight until the bell rings. There’s no need in ever thinking it’s over because you’ve got one more punch in you. So the bell hasn’t rung. Fight!”
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) April 2, 2016
Sager—known for both his colorful wardrobe and witty banter with NBA coaches—said in a March episode of “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” that his leukemia has returned.
The 64-year-old Sager, who has also worked the NCAA Tournament in recent years, was first diagnosed with the disease in April of 2014.
Special moment seeing George Foreman giving Craig Sager autographed gloves and telling Craig he will win his battle with leukemia.
— Steve Kerr (@GoldenDomer111) April 2, 2016
During the HBO interview Sager admits he has a tough road ahead.
“I’ve already had two stem-cell transplants. Very rarely does somebody have a third,” the popular Sager says in the interview. “So I have to maintain my strength, so I can go through this.”
In previous treatments Sager received bone-marrow and stem-cell transplants from his son, Craig II. Sager plans to keep fighting.
“Still kicking, still fighting. I haven’t won the battle. It’s not over yet, but I haven’t lost it either,” Sager says. “There have been some victories and some setbacks. I still have to fight it, and I still have a lot of work to do.”
— Drew Speier (@DrewSpeier) April 3, 2016
Sager may be best be known for colorful in-game interviews with San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich. Popovich, who doesn’t seem to enjoy taking time out of his coaching to talk, is a good friend with Sager.