Stuart Scott, ESPN sportscaster

Grab Your Tissues: Stuart Scott’s Daughters And SportsCenter’s Scott Van Pelt Share Touching Tribute On 10th Anniversary Of The Late ESPN Host’s Iconic ESPY Speech

ESPN treasure Stuart Scott was honored by his daughters, Taelor and Sydni, alongside former SportsCenter co-host.

Grab your tissues, a touching moment shared between the daughters of the late ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott and former ESPN SportsCenter co-host Scott Van Pelt might give you all the feels.

During a special SportsCenter segmen, Scott’s daughters Taelor and Sydni joined Van Pelt virtually to discuss the 10th anniversary of Scott’s renowned speech during the 2014 ESPYs where he openly talked about his ongoing battle with cancer. Now, a decade later, his daughters joined the popular show to not only discuss the historical moment but shed light on the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, dedicated to their father following his passing on Jan. 4, 2015. His cause of death was from appendiceal cancer.

Founded by ESPN and popular basketball coach Jim Valvano, the V Foundation has been on a mission to achieve Victory Over Cancer since its 1993 inception. After Scott’s death, his family launched the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund to continue championing cancer research, a cause near to Scott’s heart. He was “especially driven to improve outcomes for African Americans and underserved communities disproportionately affected by the disease,” according to the organization’s website.

During the interview with their father’s former SportsCenter co-host, Scott’s daughters were shocked to learn that an anonymous donor has pledged to match up to $75,000 in donations leading up to the 2024 ESPYs, which are set to air live on July 11.

“I don’t have any words,” said Taelor. “It’s life-changing.” All three of them fought back tears for the remainder of the episode and Van Pelt admitted that he had been praying all day asking the Lord not to let him “cry on television.”

“It’s life-changing and future-preserving,” Sydni chimed in. “Taelor and I … we talk about this a lot that it is stunning, it’s amazing to meet families who are … a part of one of the worst clubs in the world.”

As if fighting back tears wasn’t hard enough for the trio whose close relationship with Scott was evident, Van Pelt took a moment to shower the girls with love and remind them of how proud their father would be of them if he was still with us today. 

“Your dad loved North Carolina, everybody knew that,” said Van Pelt as he continued to try not to burst into tears on national television. “But there’s nothing in the world that he loved more than his little girls and I’m sitting here looking at the grown women you’ve become and he’d be so proud, and he is so proud and so are all of us at ESPN who love you from afar.”

He added, “This was really, really cool that I got to do this and I don’t care that this is where It ends up (Van Pelt lost his fight with the tear ducts). Taelor and Sydni, it’s so good to see you guys.”

Diagnosed with cancer in 2007, Scott ultimately was given the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2014 ESPYs Awards, delivering a heartfelt speech that has continued to stand the test of time.

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” said Scott at the time. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.” 

At one point during the speech, he also openly expressed his love for his daughters.

“The best thing I have ever done, the best thing I will ever do, is be a dad to Taelor and Sydni. It’s true. I can’t ever give up because I can’t leave my daughters. Yes, sometimes I embarrass them,” said Scott. “Sometimes, they think I’m a tyrant. That’s a direct quote. There is an adjective that describes tyrant too, but I’m not gonna go there. But Taelor and Sydni, I love you guys more than I will ever be able to express. You two are my heartbeat. I am standing on this stage here tonight because of you.”

Scott died less than a year after delivering the speech at age 49.

Stuart Scott single-handedly changed the approach to sports news when he joined ESPN in 1993. Revered for his witty catchphrases and coining the term, “boo-ya!,” the Chicago native didn’t follow the traditional rules of sports reporting and while some people didn’t like it, there were more people who did because no matter what, Scott showed up as his authentic self.

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