ESPN SportsCenter Stuart Scott dies after battle with cancer

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(CNN) — Stuart Scott was the sports broadcaster that an entire generation of aspiring reporters wanted to be.

On Sunday, the veteran ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor died after a years-long battle with cancer, the network said Sunday.

He was 49.

Scott spent the last 21 years on the air for ESPN, and his anchoring included coverage of NFL and NBA games.

His first diagnosis of stomach cancer came in November 2007, and ESPN said Scott “went through several surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and clinical trials to stay strong and ward off cancer for as long as humanly possible.”

Despite the cancer, he was resilient.

“Here’s what I do right (after) chemo. Leave the infusion center & go STRAIGHT 2 either do a p90x wkout or train MMA..THATS how you #LIVESTRONG,” he posted online in January when he received a third diagnosis.

On Sunday morning there was an immediate outpouring of love and grief from Scott’s longtime colleagues.

ESPN’s Rick Reilly wrote on Twitter that he was heartbroken: Scott “lived with such panache. He battled his disease with such dignity. Unforgettable man.”

Afternoon “SportsCenter” host Linda Cohn wrote, “I can’t believe he is gone. There was nobody like Stuart Scott, There will never be again. A big presence with even a bigger heart.”

And ESPN President John Skipper praised Scott for “energetic and unwavering devotion to his family and to his work” throughout the ordeal.

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