Robin Roberts to Receive NBA Awards' Sager Strong Honor: ‘It Means So Much’
On Monday, it was announced that Robin Roberts will be the recipient of the 2019 Sager Strong Award, named for her "incredible friend" Craig Sager, who died in 2016
Robin Roberts will get to add another accolade to her resumé this summer.
On Monday, it was announced that the longtime Good Morning America co-host — who began her career as a sports reporter — will be the recipient of the Sager Strong award at the 2019 NBA Awards on June 24.
The award is named for late sideline reporter Craig Sager, who died in 2016 after a battle with cancer.
“It’s an honor to announce that this year’s Sager Strong Award goes to another fighter, who continues to inspire and encourage millions,” O’Neal shared of the breast cancer survivor — who also battled a rare blood and bone marrow disease years later — before the group announced the good news together.
After taking in the news, Roberts shared how honored she was by the announcement.
Reflecting on Sager’s legacy, she remarked, “I remember he said, ‘Time is how you live your life.’ ”
“He was such an incredible friend. We were both inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in the same year,” she continued, noting that Sager, “was too ill to attend” the 2016 ceremony.
The induction, which took place on Dec. 14, occurred just one day before Sager passed away.
“I can’t tell you, receiving an honor bearing his name, it means so much,” Roberts said, getting emotional. “I’m looking forward to being out there.”
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In an extra special nod to Sager, the award is a replica of a brightly-colored jacket Sager wore while accepting the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPY Awards in 2016, months before his death.
During his speech, Sager gave an emotional speech, reflecting on the nature of time.
“Time is something that cannot be bought, it cannot be wagered with God, and it is not in endless supply,” Sager remarked. “Time is simply how you live your life.”
According to an NBA press release, the award is presented annually “to an individual who has been a trailblazer while exemplifying courage, faith, compassion and grace.”
Past recipients include NBA legends Monty Williams in 2017 and Dikembe Mutombo in 2018.
Before her time on GMA, Roberts worked at ESPN, serving as a SportsCenter host. Before joining the network in 1990, she worked as a sports reporter and anchor in Mississippi, Nashville and Atlanta.
The NBA Awards will air on Monday, June 24 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.