Longtime NBA reporter Sekou Smith has died at age 48 following reported Covid-19 complications, prompting a swathe of tributes to the “dedicated” media figure.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement on Tuesday: “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,” he added.
Smith worked for Turner Broadcasting, where he appeared on NBA TV and hosted The Hang Time Podcast. He also contributed regularly to NBA.com.
“Sekou’s love of basketball was clear to everyone who knew him and it always shined through in his work,” Mr Silver said.
Smith began his journalism career with The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, and covered the NBA for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Indianapolis Star before working for Turner Broadcasting.
Turner Sports said in a statement that they were “heartbroken over Sekou’s tragic passing.”
“His commitment to journalism and the basketball community was immense and we will miss his warm, engaging personality,” the statement read.
“He was beloved by his Turner Sports and NBA friends and colleagues. Our deepest condolences are with his family and loved ones.”
Smith is survived by his wife, Heather, and their three children, Gabriel, Rielly, and Cameron.
The broadcaster’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on Twitter: “Sekou Smith was the very best of us.”
“Smart. Funny. Unflinching. Full of good. A lot of days and nights on the road with him — Bubble, Finals, Olympics, wherever — and always this: Photos of his kids playing ball, or graduating, or leaving for college. Godspeed, my friend.”
Shams Charania of The Athletic said: “Hard to process. An impeccable human being. Rest In Peace, Sekou Smith.”
Longtime Chicago Bulls reporter KC Johnson wrote: “Joining chorus of colleagues stunned and deeply saddened by the passing of Sekou Smith.”
“Beyond his distinguished work, including his stint with Turner Sports, Smith was one of the kindest, most generous people on the NBA beat. And what a laugh. RIP, Sekou. You’ll be missed dearly.”
Additional reporting by Reuters
Source: THE INDEPENDENT