Local schools honor the life of the late Stuart Scott  

Local schools honor the life of the late Stuart Scott  
February 12
00:00 2015
(Photo by Charles E. Leftwich, Jr. Above: On an electric evening in front of a capacity crowd, Stephen Scott and Taelor Olivia Scott represented the Scott Family during the 2015 induction into the R J Reynolds Hall of Fame of Stuart Scott.)

Daughter, brother help Reynolds, Mt. Tabor

The late Stuart Scott, a longtime ESPN personality, was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Reynolds High School on Friday with his family members accepting the honor  for the “SportsCenter” anchor.

The induction happened at half time of the Reynolds versus Mt. Tabor game at Reynolds Gymnasium. Scott, a Chicago native who grew up in Winston-Salem, attended ninth and tenth grades at Mt. Tabor and graduated from Reynolds. Scott’s daughter, Taelor, and brother, Stephen, took to the court as Scott was inducted.

Taelor Scott, who is attending Barnard College in New York, said there has been many tributes and kind words since her father lost his life to cancer, including from President Barack Obama, who said, ”Over the years, he entertained us, and in the end, he inspired us – with courage and love.”

“He meant quite a lot to lots of people,” said Taelor Scott, one of Scott’s two daughters.

She said she knew the Reynolds tribute would have a special place in his heart, as she remembered fond stories about his formative years there, listening to old school music, wearing knitted sweaters and playing on the football team.

She remembers a different, private side of Scott: how funny he could be and how he would sing in the car.

“It’s devastating because he won’t get to see the things I go through, and what was amazing about having him as a father was, he was proud of everything I did,” she said.

Stephen Scott, who currently lives in Raleigh and attended Reynolds, graduated a few years ahead of Stuart Scott. He said Stuart was a genuine person who uplifted those around him. He said Scott was a tremendous football player in high school but when physical injuries prevented him from playing in college, he devoted himself to being a broadcaster.

It wasn’t always an easy path. While doing interviews at different stations his senior year, Scott was told by one person that he would never make it in the industry. Stuart Scott said his brother used that as motivation to become the best he could be in his profession. He would land a job at WRAL in Raleigh and two other stations in the South, before he began working at ESPN in 1993.

“I don’t think he started out wanting to be famous, he just wanted to be good,” said Stephen Scott.

The Hall of Fame induction, which also included the induction of Zach Bacon and Don Flow and was planned before Scott’s death, wasn’t the only honor for Scott. Both Mt Tabor and Reynolds also sold “Stu Strong” wrists bands, which include Scott’s signature “Boo-Yah”  phrase, to raise money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, named after the late NC State Basketball Coach Jim Valvano, who also lost his life to cancer.

“I’m just real proud of what the students at the two schools have done, even though we’re rivals, we pulled together for a common cause to honor Stuart Scott and generate some cash for a good cause. We feel that’s a good way to honor him,” said Reynolds Principal Pat Olsen.

scott shirt

One of the special Stuart Scott shirts from Friday night’s game.

Shirts, donated by Hanes Brand, in the colors of each (yellow shirts for Reynolds and dark blue for Mt. Tabor fans) were also given out. They feature art of Scott by Reynolds student Allen Corpening, and a line Scott said as he accepted his Jimmy V. Perseverance Award at ESPN’s ESPY Awards last July, when he said dying from cancer isn’t losing to the disease.

“Beat Cancer, by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live,” said Scott, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2007.

Specialized stickers for each school, with the same words, were also given out and worn proudly in the stands.

Students in the front row even used the stickers to put letters on each of their shirts, spelling out  “BOO-YAH!” as they stood together.

Stephen Scott said his brother absolutely lived up to his own words, living a life far bigger than his cancer.

“He beat it,” said Stephen Scott.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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