craig sager
Keith Allison/Flickr
  • Faith: Christian
  • Career: Public Figure
  • Birthday:  June 29, 1951
  • Date of Death:  December 15, 2016

Born into a devout Christian household in Batavia, Illinois, Craig Sager's early life was steeped in the principles of his faith. Regular attendance at church services and active participation in youth groups nurtured values of honesty, persistence, and kindness within him. These early teachings of Christianity would go on to influence every aspect of his life and career. Alongside his religious upbringing, Sager discovered a fervent love for athletics. He showcased notable talent in basketball, football, and baseball as a high school athlete, laying the groundwork for a future where sports would play a pivotal role. His academic journey led him to Northwestern University, where he pursued a degree in speech. It was here, amidst the confluence of his sporting passion and academic pursuits, that Sager found his calling in broadcasting. This blend of early influences—his unshakeable faith and his enthusiasm for sports—set the stage for a remarkable career that would touch the lives of many, embodying the values instilled in him from a young age.

Craig Sager's entry into the world of sports broadcasting began with his graduation from Northwestern and his initial role as a reporter for a Sarasota, Florida radio station. His defining moment came when he joined CNN, a pivotal step that introduced him to a national audience and set the stage for his future successes. Sager's charm and deep sports knowledge quickly endeared him to viewers, paving the way for a significant role with Turner Sports. It was here, amidst the high stakes and bright lights of NBA on TNT broadcasts, that Sager truly made his mark. Covering everything from regular season games to the electrifying atmosphere of the NBA Finals, he conducted interviews that went beyond the surface, reflecting his genuine respect for the game and its participants. Sager's ability to connect with athletes, coaches, and fans alike showcased his unique blend of professionalism and charisma, establishing him as a beloved figure in sports journalism. This period of his career not only highlighted his broadcasting talent but also his commitment to excellence, a principle deeply influenced by his foundational years.

Facing a daunting diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia in 2014, Craig Sager's journey through his illness was one marked by an indomitable spirit and a deep reliance on his Christian faith. His battle with this aggressive form of cancer saw him undergo multiple treatments and bone marrow transplants, a testament to his resolve to fight. Throughout this challenging period, Sager remained transparent about his struggles, sharing his experiences and the role his faith played in sustaining his optimism and strength. This openness not only provided a window into his personal courage but also served as an inspirational force for others grappling with their own health crises. By leaning on his belief in a higher power and the supportive prayers of his family, friends, and fans, Sager exemplified the power of faith in overcoming life's hurdles. His approach to this fight reflected a deep-seated belief in hope and the power of positivity, characteristics that defined his life both on and off the screen.

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