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Friday, June 29, 2018

Facing Down Writing Obstacles

“Everyone has to face obstacles. Everybody has to face hurdles. It's what you do with those that determines how successful you're going to be.” – Craig Sager

Sager, born on this date in 1951, is best-known for his having worked as a TNT Sports sideline reporter who paced the floors of the National Basketball Association, as he invariably sported a specimen from his vast collection of preposterously garish jackets and suits.  A Dec. 13, 2016 inductee of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, he died from leukemia just two days later.

A native of Batavia, Ill., he grew up loving sports and writing and was first published on the national scene as a high school sophomore.   Shortly before his death he noted, “I'm a kid from the small Illinois town of Batavia, who grew up on the Chicago Cubs and made sports his life's work, although there's never been a day where it actually seemed like work.”

A graduate of Northwestern, he started his career as a $95-a-week reporter for a small station in Florida and ultimately served in almost every sports broadcast capacity, including play-by-play at the NBA finals and the Olympics.  The National Academy of Television Arts and Science posthumously awarded Sager with his first Sports Emmy Award for "Outstanding Sports Personality, Sports Reporter" at the 2017 Emmy Ceremony.    
                                     Noted for his hope-filled attitude, Sager once remarked, “Hope is not just... out in the sky, or accepting the facts or reality. Hope is having optimistic, positive expectations.”

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