The sports world on Thursday was mourning the death of pioneering sports news anchor Fred Hickman at age 66.
Hickman achieved national recognition throughout the 1980s and 90s as co-anchor of CNN's popular sports news show, "Sports Tonight," along with Nick Charles. Hickman was also one of the early hosts of "Inside the NBA" on TBS, had stints with ESPN and various regional networks, and was the desk anchor when YES Network came on air in 2002.
Longtime YES Network Yankees announcer Michael Kay said in a statement that Hickman was a "joy to work with, and a joyful person.
"This is really sad news, and Fred will be missed by all who knew him and worked with him. Condolences to his family. RIP, Fred."
Hickman's former colleagues at CNN, including Hannah Storm and Dan Hicks, also paid tribute.
"I was the only female anchor at CNN, and Fred was such a welcoming presence...always with a laugh, a quip, a story...and supremely talented," Storm said on Twitter. "Rest in Peace, my friend."
ESPN NBA analyst Tim Leger said Hickman was one of his first co-hosts at the network and was "kind, upbeat and professional."
Several Black journalists paid tribute to Hickman as a pioneer in sports television.
And countless other journalists and fans weighed in with fond memories of Hickman from their younger days.