Highly-respected NBA analyst and reporter Sekou Smith has reportedly passed away at the age of 48. At this time, the Smith family has not shared the cause of his death, but his colleagues around the NBA suspect that it may be related to the coronavirus.
Smith was a revered figure around the league who began his career as a sports reporter for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi. After working in the South for seven years, he transitioned to becoming an NBA writer for the Indianapolis Star. He would then go on to cover the Atlanta Hawks for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over the last decade, Smith has cemented his place in the league as a senior NBA analyst for Turner Broadcasting Inc. While at Turner, he hosted Hang Time and helped create the Hang Time blog. Most importantly, he left a long-lasting impact on those he worked with along the way. In the hours following his passing, Smith received an outpouring of messages from those who revered his work and appreciated his presence.
“[This is] hard to process. [He was] an impeccable human being. Rest in peace, Sekou Smith,” Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted.
Heavy heart today..We lost a good brother to Covid.
Sekou Smith of @NBATV and https://t.co/dyMHCgGy2q was a brilliant and insightful writer,a positive dude.
He’s gone home to be with the Lord. ??
Philippians 4:4 pic.twitter.com/Yw5xvwZ51g
— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) January 26, 2021
“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,” Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated added.
With the news of his passing making its way around NBA circles, Smith’s now-former employer, Turner Broadcasting Inc. issued an official statement. The company thanked Smith for his dedication and sent their prayers to the Smith family.
“We are all heartbroken over Sekou’s tragic passing. His commitment to journalism and the basketball community was immense and we will miss his warm, engaging personality,” Turner Sports stated.
“He was beloved by his Turner Sports and NBA friends and colleagues. Our deepest condolences are with his family and loved ones.”