Robin Roberts, Charles Barkley and TNT's Ernie Johnson Jr. team up to #EndCancer on Feb. 4

Virtual event honors NBA legend, the late Craig Sager, celebrates celebrities’ contributions to Making Cancer History®

An all-star lineup of basketball greats, several of whom are courageous cancer survivors, will share their stories Feb. 4 at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s A Conversation with a Living Legend event. Robin Roberts, an anchor of “Good Morning America,” will join Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Ernie Johnson Jr. for a virtual fireside chat with a special guest appearance by 11-time NBA All-Star Charles Barkley.

The virtual event airing Feb. 4 at noon and 6 p.m. CST will weave together the stories of three extraordinary people who have been touched by cancer: Roberts, Johnson and the late sports reporter Craig Sager. Individual tickets are available beginning at $150 at To date, nearly $1 million has been raised, and all proceeds support blood cancer research at MD Anderson.

Craig Sager, the iconic broadcaster, legendary Basketball Hall of Fame member and Emmy Award winner, died in 2016 after he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, two years earlier. MD Anderson will posthumously award Sager, his wife, Stacy, and the SagerStrong Foundation with the Making Cancer History Award®, established in 2007 to recognize visionaries who are committed to MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer.

“It is an honor to have such inspiring cancer survivors share their stories on behalf of MD Anderson and our mission to end cancer,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president, MD Anderson. “The opportunity to honor Craig and Stacy Sager and the SagerStrong Foundation for their trailblazing efforts, as well as the chance to hear from such legends as Robin, Ernie and Charles, is a true privilege. And with the support of our friends and their generous gifts, our researchers will be able to continue their dedicated work to improve outcomes for cancer patients all over the world.”

All-star lineup

An anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Robin Roberts is a breast cancer survivor who was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012 and received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2013. She famously shared her journey with myelodysplastic syndrome, a malignancy of the bone marrow, with the nation in October 2012. The NBA awarded Roberts the Sager Strong Award in 2019 after her story inspired hundreds of potential bone marrow donors to register and heightened awareness about a rare type of cancer.

Ernie Johnson Jr. is an Emmy Award-winning sportscaster for Turner Sports, lead television voice for Major League Baseball and host of NBA coverage on Turner Network Television (TNT). In 2003, Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer found in the lymphatic system. He dealt with his diagnosis privately until he announced his cancer in 2006. Johnson also is a prostate cancer survivor. He has since bravely shared his story with audiences across the U.S. As a cancer survivor and basketball enthusiast, Johnson had a unique bond with Sager. The touching eulogy he gave at his friend’s funeral reflected his understanding of the difficult toll that cancer treatment can take.

Craig Sager was diagnosed with AML in 2014. While undergoing treatment at MD Anderson, Sager carried on with his motto of “living out loud,” with his wife, Stacy, by his side. In 2016, Sager gave an unforgettable speech while accepting the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPYs, and, shortly after his passing that same year, he was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. In 2017, TNT launched the Sager Strong Award at the annual NBA Awards show to honor a trailblazing individual who exemplifies courage, faith, compassion and grace. Craig and Stacy Sager established the SagerStrong Foundation to continue Craig’s legacy to help #endcancer one day.

A Conversation with a Living Legend®

MD Anderson’s A Conversation with a Living Legend® series began in North Texas. The interview concept has inspired similar events in Las Vegas, Nevada; Atlanta, Georgia; Washington, D.C.; and Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas, raising more than $46 million for cancer research and patient programs at MD Anderson.

Event chairs for the 2021 Living Legend event, comprised of past Living Legend Chairs from Houston and San Antonio, include:

  • Claire and John Alexander
  • Jordan and Brian Arriaga
  • Ginger Blanton
  • Kelli and Eddy Scurlock Blanton
  • Leslie and Jack Blanton
  • Katie and Harry Cullen Jr.
  • Rosanette S. Cullen
  • Barbara and Alan Dreeben
  • Patsy Fourticq
  • Ellie and Michael Francisco
  • Maureen and Jim Hackett
  • Barbara and Charles Hurwitz
  • Kathy and Bill Johnson
  • Kim and Clyde Johnson IV
  • Paula and Clyde Johnson III
  • Kelli Kickerillo and Todd Forester
  • Elyse Lanier
  • Nancy Loeffler
  • Kathy and Jeff Love
  • Kathy and Jody McCord
  • Denise Monteleone
  • Vicky and Harris Pappas
  • Paige and Marc Sachs
  • Courtney and Christopher Sarofim
  • Joan Schnitzer
  • Lisa and Kelly Sechler
  • Marsha and John H. Shields
  • Sheridan and John Eddie Williams
  • Sonya Medina Williams and Gene Williams
  • Cyvia Wolff
  • Jessica and Clint Worth
  • Mary and Bob Worth
  • Allison and Josh Zeller