Sekou Smith, an NBA reporter and correspondent for NBA TV, died on Tuesday after a battle with COVID-19. He was 48 years old. Smith worked for Turner for more than a decade, serving as an analyst for NBA TV a writer for NBA.com and a host of the Hang Time Podcast.
"We are all heartbroken over Sekou's tragic passing," Turner Sports said in a statement, as reported by ESPN. "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."
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🖤 https://t.co/yszgMXpfo1— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 27, 2021
Smith was from Grand Rapids, Michigan and attended Jackson State in Mississippi. He started his journalism career at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson before covering the Indiana Pacers for the Indianapolis Star and the Atlanta Hawks for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Smith was hired by Turner Sports in 2009.
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. 🙏🏾🕊— Chris Paul (@CP3) January 27, 2021
Many NBA teams, players and media members paid tribute to Smith on social media as he was looked at as one of the most respected figures in the league. "The NBA mourns the passing of Sekou Smith, a beloved member of the NBA family," Silver said in a statement. "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."
Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr were just a few of the current and former NBA players and coaches that reacted to Smith's death. "I just heard the news about Sekou Smith, and I am just devastated," Kerr said. "I know I speak for our entire organization, just crushing news today. Sekou has been a part of the NBA family for a long time."