The sports world is in mourning after news broke yesterday (Jan. 26) that longtime basketball journalist Sekou Smith had passed away. According to CBS News, the 48-year-old died from COVID-19.
In a statement, the National Association of Black Journalists remembered Smith and his work fondly.
“He was more than a colleague; he was a friend and brother to us and so many others,” they wrote.
Smith started his career by covering the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks before joining the Turner Sports staff in 2009. Since then, he became nationally recognized as an NBA TV analyst, writer for NBA.com and host of the “NBA Hang Time” podcast.
Smith is survived by his wife, Heather, and their three children.
“His commitment to journalism and the basketball community was immense and we will miss his warm, engaging personality,” Turner Sports said in a statement. “He was beloved by his Turner Sports and NBA friends and colleagues. Our deepest condolences are with his family and loved ones.”
On Twitter, Dwyane Wade also remembered Smith, saying, “I’ve never had anything but positive interactions and conversations with Sekou Smith.”
He added, “Our prayers go out to the Smith family. We lost a good one. Rest In Heaven.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver mourned Smith’s passing in a statement and called him a “beloved member of the NBA family.”
“Sekou was one of the most affable and dedicated reporters in the NBA and a terrific friend to so many across the league,” Silver said. “He covered the game for more than two decades, including the past 11 years with Turner Sports, where he showed his full range of skills as an engaging television analyst, podcast host and writer.”
“Sekou’s love of basketball was clear to everyone who knew him and it always shined through in his work,” he added. “Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife, Heather, and their children: Gabriel, Rielly and Cameron.”
Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns also paid tribute to Smith on Twitter.
“Man today just got a little heavier... my condolences to Sekou’s wife, family, friends and extended NBA family,” he wrote. “What a kind and compassionate man we just lost.”
See more tributes to Smith below. Rest In Peace.
I’ve never had anything but positive interactions and conversations with Sekou Smith. Our prayers go out to the Smith family. We lost a good one. Rest In Heaven https://t.co/yszgMXpfo1— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 27, 2021
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Sekou Smith pic.twitter.com/QyII7bcuXZ— NBA (@NBA) January 27, 2021
The Turner Sports family mourns the loss of our very own, Sekou Smith.— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 27, 2021
Our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/97mu4bylfA
Thank you for your brotherly friendship, humor, honesty and compassion. Glad we had a chance to tell each other we loved each other three weeks ago. You were a gift to this Earth as a friend, father and a man Sekou Smith. Rest In Peace to my brother. Prayers to your wife & family pic.twitter.com/mqjnZyEHNz— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) January 26, 2021
Man today just got a little heavier... my condolences to Sekou’s wife, family, friends, and extended NBA family. What a kind and compassionate man we just lost.— Chris Paul (@CP3) January 27, 2021