Sports and media figures are paying tribute to Sekou Smith—the revered sports analyst who died at 48 following a battle with coronavirus.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the tragedy in a statement Tuesday night, expressing condolences to Smith's family and recognizing his contributions to the sports world.
"The NBA mourns the passing of Sekou Smith, a beloved member of the NBA family," Silver wrote. "Sekou was one of the most affable and dedicated reporters in 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."
Smith began working as a sports reporter for The Clarion-Ledger in 1994 while earning his communications degree at Jackson State University. He would work for the outlet until 2001, before landed sports writing positions with the Indianapolis Star and then the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Smith was hired as a Senior Analyst for NBA Digital in 2009, and would continue to work for the league as a TV analyst, writer, and podcast host up until his death.
Turner Sports released the following statement on the loss:
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. He was beloved by his Turner Sports and NBA friends and colleagues. Our deepest condolences are with his family and loved ones.
You can read additional tributes to the award-winning sports analyst below.