Devon Still accepts Jimmy V. Perseverance ESPY on behalf of daughter Leah, battling cancer
BY DANIEL O’LEARY NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
An emotional Devon Still took the stage at the ESPYs to accept the Jimmy V. Perseverance Award on behalf of his 5-year-old daughter Leah – who became an inspiring figure while battling cancer last year – Wednesday night.
LeBron James presented the Bengals defensive lineman – who was not accompanied by Leah, whose immune system is still too weak to travel, according to what Devon explained on Instagram Tuesday – with the ESPY.
Still was emotional and articulate talking about his daughter’s battle, the joy he felt during her time in remission, and the variety of challenges he and his family have faced.
Still said he had fought off the temptation of drinking to escape the heartache and that he would have seen that at giving up, which he and his daughter made a pact that they would never do.
“In the five years I’ve been with you, you taught me more about life than I could ever teach you,” Devon said, referring to his girl.
At the end of Devon’s speech, Leah appeared on screen with a note of thanks of her own.
The award is named after legendary N.C. State basketball coach Jim Valvano, who delivered an unforgettable speech at the 1993 ESPYS during his own bout with cancer. Last year’s recipient was late ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, who also battled cancer.