NEW OREANS – (Staff report by Terry Lyons) – The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame will honor the late Craig Sager with the highest award for a television reporter who covered the sport by honoring his memory with the distinguished Curt Gowdy media award. The honor comes as the NBA celebrates its annual All-Star Weekend and Sager’s employer, Turner Sports, covers the weekend and its signature skills and dunk events during a three-day telethon of basketball.
Sager’s family, led by his widow, Stacy, was honored last night with a special video tribute at the NBA Rising Stars game. Sager died December 15, 2016 after fighting a very long and public battle against the leukemia disease. Sager was beloved by NBA fans around the globe and known for his flashy dress and incredible rapport with players and coaches, especially San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
There is not a media person involved with the NBA that did not have Sager in their prayers and can smile at the memories of NBA All-Star weekends past where he was such a presence.
Sager was honored as the Gowdy award winner for television, while longtime New York Times sports writer Harvey Araton was honored for the print side.
“I grew up in a New York City housing project, where Kareem (then Lew) was part of a basketball clinic,” said Araton as he reflected on the honor this morning. “It’s unfathomable to think I would one day be honored where he was enshrined. Best thing about this? I’m with so many media people I’ve admired and befriended, and humbled to be paired with the late, great Craig Sager.”
The Hall also announced finalists for consideration for the Class of 2017. The enshrinees will be announced at the NCAA Final 4 in April.