Craig Sager

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USA Basketball sends ‘get well’ messages to Craig Sager (VIDEO)

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Craig Sager has been an key part of NBA game broadcasts for years, with his colorful outfits and sideline interviews grabbing the attention of the masses. In recent years Sager has been fighting leukemia, with the treatment process keeping him from making the trip to Rio de Janeiro to work the Summer Olympics. Earlier this week USA Basketball recorded messages of support for Sager, with Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony among those who reached out.

You can watch the video here.

With Sager undergoing his treatments in Houston, the team was able to see him following their final pre-Olympic exhibition against Nigeria last Monday. There were handshakes and hugs for Sager, who recently was informed by his doctors that he will have to undergo a third bone marrow transplant.

In mid-June Sager gave a powerful speech after receiving the Jimmy V award at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.

Craig Sager will miss Rio Olympics as he battles leukemia

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Basketball reporter Craig Sager will miss the Rio Games as he returns to a cancer center to continue his battle against acute myeloid leukemia, NBC announced in a statement Thursday.

Sager was set to cover his fifth straight Olympics for NBC, but instead needs to undergo a third bone marrow transplant at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He resumed receiving chemotherapy on Wednesday, according to the Houston Chronicle, with the goal being to force the disease into remission so the transplant can be performed next month.

“We’ve known since February we would have to have the third transplant,” Sager told the Chronicle. “We tried to delay it until after the Olympics, but (the disease) is very aggressive, and there is a sense of urgency to do it now.”

Sager was diagnosed in 2014, went into remission after a bone marrow transplant, was told the cancer came back in March 2015, underwent a second transplant last year, and then found out in February he was no longer in remission.

“My body isn’t getting stronger, so they want to do it while I’m strong enough,” Sager said. “Third transplants are kind of rare, so hopefully we will get it done and I’ll be ready in time for (NBA) opening night.”

MORE: Marv Albert to call Olympic basketball for first time since 1996

Missy Franklin, Jordan Spieth, Neymar drafted by Harlem Globetrotters

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Since 2007, the Harlem Globetrotters have held their own draft in advance of the NBA Draft. They “look at all different kinds of athletes that could have the qualities of a Harlem Globetrotter.”

And so in 2016, an Olympic year, the Globetrotters selected three likely Olympians for their “roster” – swimmer Missy Franklin, golfer Jordan Spieth and Brazilian soccer star Neymar. They also used an honorary pick on sideline reporter Craig Sager, who is battling acute myeloid leukemia but will work his fifth straight Olympics this summer in Rio for NBC. He is the Globetrotters’ first-ever honorary draft pick.

Franklin won four gold medals at the 2012 Olympics and is expected to bring home another medal haul this summer. The Globetrotters liked her height and hand size, saying she “can palm a regulation-size basketball.”

As for Spieth, the squad loved his family’s “strong basketball background” and the fact that his mansion in Dallas includes an indoor basketball court. Spieth is currently the top-ranked American golfer in the IGF’s Olympic rankings.

And Neymar, who helped Brazil to a silver medal at the 2012 Games, was praised for being a “big fan of basketball.” His dribbling skills were noted in a recent Instagram video.

The Globetrotters’ entire 2016 draft class is listed here.

“We also look beyond the court, for those athletes and entertainers that have the qualities of not only being great on the court or the field, but also being a good person off of it. Those are the most important traits that make a true Globetrotter,” said Sweet Lou Dunbar, the Globetrotters’ director of player personnel and coach, in a release.

Previous Globetrotters drafts have also included Olympians. Their 2015 class included U.S. women’s soccer star Alex Morgan, 2012 featured Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, Argentinian soccer legend Lionel Messi highlighted 2011, and Bahamian high jumper Donald Thomas was drafted in 2008.

MORE: Missy Franklin reads emotional letter to parents (video)