Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
October 25, 2016: In his on-going fight against leukemia, Craig Sager has displayed grit, determination and humor, while inspiring others around the world.
Now, the veteran reporter for Turner Sports’ NBA on TNT is adding another layer to his dauntless campaign.
With the support of Turner, Sager has partnered with NikeiD to create customized limited-edition SagerStrong Nike Air Force 1 sneakers, 100 pairs of which are being offered via an online auction, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the SagerStrong Foundation.
Designed by Sager, the Nike Air Force 1 comes complete with paisley print panels, a seersucker tongue tab with the words SagerStrong and multi-colored laces, a reflection of the outrageous sports jackets that Sager has become famous for wearing while on-air.
The auction begins tonight to coincide with the opening night of the NBA 2016-17 season and the NBA on TNT. The online auction is scheduled to start Oct. 25 (7 PM ET) and conclude Nov. 4. (Details here.)
The shoes will be custom made in the respective size of each winning bidder at the close of the auction.
"Craig is an inspiration to so many people including all of us at Turner as he continues to courageously battle cancer," David Levy, president for Turner, said in a statement. "This tribute is an opportunity for us to demonstrate our affection and support for Craig, his wife Stacy and their family, along with all of those facing similar obstacles.
"We look forward to working closely with them and our partners throughout Opening Week to raise awareness and funding on behalf of cancer research and education," said Levy.
According to Turner, people can access behind-the-scenes footage of the sneakers and the T-shirts, commentary from players, coaches and others via by following @NBAonTNT and @BleacherReport.
In addition, a Twitter emoji will appear when fans tweet using #SagerStrong throughout opening week.
Other members of the NBA family also are activating to support Sager and his foundation.
The Golden State Warriors, in a move intended to raise awareness and funds for such groups as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society plan to honor Sager and have created a "Sager Strong" T-shirt, presented by City National Bank, to be given to all fans attending the team’s opening game tonight (Oct. 25) against the San Antonio Spurs.
Although this T-shirt (pictured below) is not available for retail, the Warriors have for sale another T-shirt, which they said was inspired by the suit Sager wore while receiving the Jimmy Valvano Award at the 2016 ESPYS, at the Warriors Team Store at Oracle Arena. Portions of the proceeds will support the SagerStrong Foundation. and City National Bank, the official bank for the Warriors, said it would be making a donation to SagerStrong Foundation.
Another T-shirt, designed by Dave Zarzynski, will be shown during TNT’s Inside the NBA studio show and will be available for retail, with portions of the proceeds supporting the SagerStrong Foundation.
According to Lenny Daniels, president for Turner Sports, "It’s been amazing to see the impact Craig has made across the entire sports community and the outpouring of support everyone has shown him as he undergoes his fight against cancer.
"He’s a beloved member of the Turner Sports family and we will continue to do everything we can to help drive awareness for this very important cause," said Daniels.
All contributions made to the SagerStrong Foundation go directly to cancer research and education, per SagerStrong.
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