Grammy winner Yolanda Adams sang two songs at the memorial service of Craig Sager on Tuesday.
The beloved TNT broadcaster, 65, died Thursday following a two-year fight with acute myeloid leukemia.
Many of the mourners at Mount Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia granted one of Sager’s final wishes and wore bright colors, in honor of his own habit of wearing loud, colorful suits for his NBA sideline reports. The church’s former senior pastor, Rev. Randy Mickler, said he decided against wearing his normal black robe and instead wore a purple shirt and colorful jacket he said would have made Sager “extremely proud and pleased.”
In remarks to the packed audience, Adams said that when she first met Sager, she was blown away by his style of dress. “Those colors,” she said as the crowd laughed. “He made an indelible mark on the world.”
Adams sang “Never Give Up,” and “I Believe I Can Fly” during the service.
“This is one of those things we know we have to deal with as finite beings,” she told the gatherers.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver sat in one of the first pews, close to Sager’s TNT mates Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson.
“He was his own television show,” said Smith told the mourners. “He was different. He wasn’t just TNT. He was Sager-vision.”
Cubs fan Craig Sager made a $1K bet on Cubs to win a title every year since 1981. He lived to see it happen. A “W” flag is at his memorial. pic.twitter.com/bTnxapyFhW
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 20, 2016
Reggie Miller and Isiah Thomas shared another pew; deeper in the crowd were Kevin McHale, Steve Smith, Marv Albert, and so many more. Gregg Popovich, so long Sager’s chief foil, was here too, in Atlanta just hours before his Spurs tipped off in Houston.
Watch footage from the service below (a brief clip of Yolanda Adams singing is at the 1 min 43 sec mark):