ESPN anchor keeps on fighting

Scott doesn't let cancer, energy-sapping chemotherapy stop him

CorrespondentAugust 27, 2011 

  • Where: Lonnie Poole Golf Course, N.C. State's Centennial Campus

    When: Gates will open for spectators at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, with a shotgun start scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

    Parking: There is no public parking at the golf course. However, spectator parking is available on Centennial Campus, with shuttle buses operating between the parking lots and the golf course from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Tickets: Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at TicketMaster or by calling (919) 834-4000.

    Online information: golfclassic.org

On Monday, Stuart Scott shot a 38 during a nine-hole round of golf. The next day, he carded a 41, which combined would top his personal best by three strokes.

But that Monday morning before taking to the links, the ESPN anchor went through the 11th of his 12 chemotherapy treatments. Scott learned at the start of 2011 that cancer had returned to his body for a second time.

That's how the North Carolina native and UNC alumnus lives his life, refusing to give in to the disease that first appeared in 2007. Scott is in Raleigh this weekend for the 18th annual Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic (9:30 a.m. Sunday, N.C. State's Lonnie Poole Golf Course) after being named the inaugural winner of the Spirit of Jimmy V award in July.

"You kind of learn what the regimen does to you, and typically right after chemo I'm tired, I'm drained and I'm a little queasy," said Scott, who underwent a chemotherapy treatment on May 30 and then flew to Miami the following day to anchor ESPN's coverage of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. "I could go home and lay down and feel funky, but when you're queasy from chemo, you're queasy lying in a bed. I figure I should just be queasy working out."

Scott works out regularly with the P90X training program and takes mixed martial arts classes. He continues to live his life the way Valvano famously told the audience at the 1993 ESPYs, and he said he's vowed to never give up. He shows off his six-pack of abs to daughters Sydni and Taelor, has them watch him exercise and takes them to his MMA class to watch him spar.

"This is a fight that all of us have, and the way to fight this is to show my daughters, 'Look, Daddy ain't changing anything," he said. "I think that doing that, it makes them feel a little less worried or scared. They'd be more worried if I kind of went off and said, 'Well I guess I'm fighting cancer. Let's just sit around and feel sorry for myself.' Why? That's a bunch of crap."

Scott said he was humbled and honored after being named the recipient of the Spirit of Jimmy V award, and at each mention he referred to the N.C. State basketball coaching legend as "Coach Valvano." Scott's relationship with Valvano began in 1988 - five years before Valvano's death - while Scott was a news reporter for WRAL. Scott's adoration of Valvano, who he called "the coolest, most graceful cat around" in his time, has taken a different focus since Scott's own diagnosis.

"I'm not unaware of how I have a chance or possibility to inspire people because of what I do for a living," Scott said. "But it's not so much that I'm doing so much inspiring, it's that I've been inspired."

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