Craig Sager Is Still Smiling After Third Bone Marrow Transplant to Fight Leukemia (Photos)

“Everlasting thrill as he receives the donation through his chest!!” the colorful “NBA on TNT” sideline reporter’s son says

Last Updated: August 31, 2016 @ 5:06 PM

“NBA on TNT” sideline reporter Craig Sager received his third bone marrow and stem cell transplant Wednesday, as part of his ongoing battle against acute myeloid leukemia.

Known for his bright smile and even brighter suits, the 65-year-old veteran sportscaster remained cheerful during his treatment, with his son posting a picture on Twitter of him in a hospital bed full of tubes with the caption: “Everlasting thrill as he receives the donation through his chest!! What a proud moment!!!

“Three transplants, three straight summers spent playing life’s version of Chutes and Ladders,” Craig Sager Jr continued.

On Tuesday, Sager Jr, who is also a sports journalist, revealed that his dad had the opportunity to reach this “unimaginable milestone” thanks to an anonymous, 20-year-old donor who was a perfect match, and pleaded for more people — especially minorities — to register.

Sager embarked on a new round of chemotherapy last month, which prevented him from traveling to Rio de Janeiro to cover men’s and women’s basketball during the 2016 Summer Olympics, Yahoo Sports reported.

“Third transplants are kind of rare, so hopefully we will get it done and I’ll be ready in time for [NBA] opening night,” Sager told the Houston Chronicle.

“OK, third time’s the charm,” Sager said moments after the process began at about 11:30 a.m. CT at MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, Texas, according to the Associated Press. The procedure was expected to take some 10 hours.

“I’m supposed to be smiling for this?” Sager asked. “Oh yay!”

Sager’s current procedure is very uncommon, his medical team revealed. “It’s less than 1 percent of the total number of transplants,” Dr. Muzaffar Qazilbash, Sager’s stem cell transplantation physician told the AP. “It’s very rare to have three transplants.”

Along with plenty of support from his fans and peers on social media, Sager got a special visit to his bedside from former NBA star Charles Barkley.

In July, Sager was honored at the 2016 ESPYs with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, which was presented by Vice President Joe Biden and prompted the chant “Sager Strong” across the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Sager’s acceptance speech is destined to become as historic as that of Stuart Scott two years ago, as he laid out his battle with honesty and humility (still wearing a rainbow bright jacket and yellow shirt, of course).

“There is no fear in love, and your love is my strength,” he tearfully told his wife, Stacy, and his children. “I’d like to thank my Turner Sports family … and the bigger family of sports. I am confident that I will continue to keep watching these amazing feats.”

“I will continue to keep fighting — sucking the marrow out of life, as the marrow sucks the life out of me,” Sager concluded.

See the tweets from Sager’s family and famous friends below.