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Craig Sager, sports broadcasting icon and NU alumnus, dies at age 65

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Craig Sager, sports broadcasting icon and NU alumnus, dies at age 65

Reporter Craig Sager on the court before the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 16 in Cleveland.

Reporter Craig Sager on the court before the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 16 in Cleveland.

(Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal/TNS)

Reporter Craig Sager on the court before the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 16 in Cleveland.

(Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal/TNS)

(Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal/TNS)

Reporter Craig Sager on the court before the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 16 in Cleveland.

Dan Waldman, Reporter

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Northwestern lost one of its most colorful alumni Thursday, when legendary sports broadcaster Craig Sager passed away at age 65 following a long battle with acute myeloid leukemia.

Sager, who graduated from the university in 1973 with a major in speech, was best known for his eye-catching suits and amusing interactions with coaches and players. He spent more than 30 years with Turner Sports and covered 26 seasons of the NBA.

Turner president David Levy released a statement Thursday, saying Sager was a unique member of the journalism industry and will be deeply missed.

“There will never be another Craig Sager,” Levy said in the statement. “His incredible talent, tireless work ethic and commitment to his craft took him all over the world covering sports.”

But before becoming one of the most recognizable voices in the basketball world, Sager was a member of the NU cheerleading squad, Delta Tau Delta fraternity and performed the role of university mascot Willie the Wildcat. He also tried out for Northwestern’s football team and played for the freshman basketball team.

Sager received his initial diagnosis in 2014, after which he made infrequent returns to NBA on TNT, last reporting for the network in June, according to the New York Times.

Sager was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame this week and received the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.

“I will live my life full of love and full of fun,” Sager said in July when receiving the award. “It’s the only way I know how.”

Email: danielwaldman2019@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @dan_Waldman

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