Jason Ross: Thank you, Craig Sager

Life is precious. Time seems to come and go way too fast. When we lose someone, it is natural to reflect on the time and the moments that they gave us.

On Thursday we lost a good broadcaster and one heck of a person. I met Craig Sager, but can’t say that I really know him. I have heard people talk about him and have seen many of the wonderful tributes on him. This was a man that had an impact on a lot of people’s lives.

He touched my life and I know that he didn’t even know it.

I grew up watching sports and wanting to be involved in any way possible. With limited channels growing up, we all seemed to get TBS/TNT and that is when I was first introduced to Craig Sager.

I loved basketball and he was the one on the television telling me the information that I needed to know. I did notice the suits, but didn’t think much of it. I knew he was grabbing attention with his garb, but I wanted to hear the information he was actually telling the sports world.

Years later, I was working in the NBA. The Sacramento Kings were good and TNT was a regular inside Arco Arena.

There was the man that I grew up watching now sitting right next to our radio position broadcasting just like us. I was one of him. Kind of. He came into the building and everyone knew him. He treated everyone the same. No pretense, no ego, just full of life, fun and basketball.

During this time, my son was born. One of the most amazing days of my life. We knew something wasn’t right but we weren’t quite sure why the doctors were so concerned upon the night he was born.  When the scene calmed down we were told that he had Leukemia.

This was shocking, scary and completely emotional. Within a couple days old, our son was going through chemotherapy. He battled like a champ, we held together and our son beat it.

At 7 years of age, he would get another version of Leukemia. Wow. Another huge blow to the family. We went back to action like when he was born, rallied our support troops and did everything we could to be a part of the battle for our son.

Chemotherapy wasn’t working as well this time and we learned that we were going to need a bone marrow transplant for our son to survive.

We fortunately found a match and he went through that amazing process like a champ, again. This is now six years ago and thankfully our son is doing well, but we truly will never feel really comfortable based on what he has been through.

So with that said, it is how you choose to live life.

This takes me back to Craig Sager. This is a man that clearly wanted to live and did whatever he could to still be around.

He wanted to have an impact on the world with his style, his humor, his grace and how he chose to live. He had so much courage going through multiple transplants and his ongoing saga with Leukemia. He wanted to keep working, he wanted to be at games, he wanted to pass his joy on to the world.

He did all of that in his own colorful way – well done Craig.

I like him for his work as a broadcaster, I respect him for how he treated people, I admire him for his courage and I will truly miss him for his relentless will to live life as it should be lived.

Thank you Craig and Rest In Peace.

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