SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott was honored with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday night, and while the pre-speech short clip that ESPN put together documenting Scott’s battle with cancer (see below) was moving, it’s his speech that’s making the rounds today, with good reason.
Scott first invoked the man the award is named for: Jim Valvano, a former North Carolina State University basketball coach who died of bone cancer in 1993. In a speech at the first-ever ESPY Awards, he announced the creation of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, and its motto: “Don’t give up don’t ever give up.”
“To be honored with this … I know I have a responsibility to never give up,” Scott said. “I’m not special; I just listened to what the man said.”
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, while you live and the manner in which you live,” he continued.
Joined onstage by his younger daughter, Scott concluded his speech: “The best thing I’ve ever done, the best thing I will ever do is be a dad to Taelor and Sydni,” he said of his children. “I can’t ever give up because I can’t leave my daughters. I love you girls more than I will ever be able to express. You are my heartbeat. I am standing on this stage tonight because of you.”