Sekou Smith, an NBA reporter and analyst, died on Tuesday due to complications with COVID-19. He was only 48 years old at the time of his departure from earth.
In an announcement regarding his passing, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said, “The NBA mourns the passing of Sekou Smith, a beloved member of the NBA family. Sekou was one of the most affable and dedicated reporters of the NBA and a terrific friend to so many across the league. 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. Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife, Heather, and their children, Gabriel, Rielly and Cameron.”
Sekou Smith was a loving man, and one who was generous to other people. Chris Paul tweeted out, “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.”
Dwayne Wade tweeted, “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.”
Sekou Smith made his mark on the NBA from the earliest days of his professional writing career at the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, which is a newspaper. He worked for several more newspapers, becoming a beat-writer for the Indiana Pacers for the newspaper “The Indianapolis Star.” Smith then wrote about the Atlanta Hawks for the Atlanta Constitution. He joined Turner Sports, a media company, as a writer. As well as Turner, Smith was a writer for NBA.com and analyst for NBA TV.
Smith was generous to his fans, as Twitter user @hundoclark remarked, “RIP Sekou Smith. I remember wanting to be a sports journalist in high school and he took the time to share some tips with me. That was love.”
I can also vouch for Sekou Smith’s generosity, as a couple of months ago I sent him my blog and asked for some advice. I couldn’t believe when he responded to me. It was a blessing from the skies, and it took a while for it to really sink in that a sports journalist had taken the time to read something I wrote and provided me with advice. The quote that I will most remember from his email is this: “And good luck chasing your ambitions in the business. I dreamt big when I was much younger and it continues to pay off to this day.”
RIP Sekou Smith, an incredible reporter, analyst, husband, and father. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.