Atlanta —- On Jan. 26, NBA writer Sekou Smith died of COVID-19 complications at the age of 48.
Based in his hometown of Atlanta, Smith was a rising journalist and voice for the entire NBA.
The Atlanta Hawks, the NBA TV Atlanta studios, and Turner Network Television (TNT) studios will honor Smith by renaming the broadcasting workroom in State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, after him.
In addition, the Atlanta Hawks yearly summer league team, which coincidentally was deactivated for the past summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be named after Smith.
Also, according to NBA.com, one journalism student will be selected from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will be chosen to be a beat writer for the Atlanta Hawks NBA Summer League team.
Turner sports released a statement via CNN detailing, “We are all heartbroken over Sekou’s tragic passing.”
According to the same source, Smith covered NBA action for more than two decades, including 11 years with Turner Sports.
According to CNN and Smith’s LinkedIn profile, Smith “started his career as a sports reporter at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1994.”
He also worked as a journalist in Indianapolis and Atlanta before representing Turner Sports.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement specifying Smith’s role and place in the NBA family.
“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 in the NBA and a terrific friend to so many across the league.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Heather, and their children, Gabriel, Rielly, and Cameron.
Although Smith was never a player at the highest level, the NBA, or a player at any professional stage, his passion for the game was illustrious and renowned.
Silver continued a statement entailing Smith’s eternal connection to the game, “Sekou’s love of basketball was clear to everyone who knew him, and it always shined through in his work.”
The Hawks also released a statement via CNN, “The Hawks organization is heartbroken by the passing of Sekou Smith.
The Hawks’ beat writer for the AJC from 05-09, Sekou provided our fans with honest & fair coverage, sharing incredible insight on the team while establishing himself as one of the NBA’s top personalities.”
While COVID-19 protocols have been thoroughly established in the NBA, professional sports, intercollegiate sports, and sports worldwide, necessary precautions and testing tend to obstruct sports, and sports, in general, tend to interrupt the intention of medical advice.
“I think for all of us, this COVID thing has been painful, to say the least. But when you lose somebody that you know, and that you admire and respect and who is young,” said current New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach Stan Van Gundy in a statement released by ESPN, “This thing is so scary and has brought so much grief to so many people. Today is one of those days. There’s a lot of people in Atlanta today grieving a great man in Sekou.”