Jamari Smith, an incoming freshman for the University of Alabama-Birmingham football team, drowned on Wednesday. He was 18 years old. The news was confirmed by Carol Robinson of AL.com, who reported that Smith was the victim of accidental drowning in a Lee County Lake in Alabama. No foul play is suspected, and the case is currently being investigated.
According to the report, Auburn police and fire medics, as well as East Alabama Medical EMS, responded to a call at 4:30 p.m. to a report of a possible drowning at the lake area of Chewacla State Park. Smith was located underwater in the lake, and life support measures took place. Smith was rushed to the emergency room but was pronounced dead at 6:05 p.m. The report also states that Smith was swimming with his friends at the late when he apparently became tired and went under. Friends couldn't locate Smith, and 911 was called.
Tragic. I almost drowned once. God sent an angel to save me. I wish he would’ve done the same for this young man who I watched play sports. My prayers are with his family.🙏🏽 #GodsPlan https://t.co/1vxyhRp6uR— Steven L Reed (@stevenlouisreed) May 28, 2020
Smith was a standout football and basketball player at Robert E. Lee High School in Alabama. He helped the team win the basketball state title this past year as an All-Metro star. "He had a smile and a basketball game that could electrify and light up any room or building he was in," Game Elite couch Rusell Power wrote on Twitter. "He had a spirit that enlightened everyone around him. This one hurts so bad that I can’t even really get the words together. I love you Jamari 'Chop' Smith! Wow!"
Once UAB heard the news, head coach Bill Clark released a statement. "Our hearts are broken to learn about the tragic passing of Jamari Smith," Clark said. "We want to send our deepest condolences to the entire Smith family. Jamari was an upstanding young man with an extremely bright future. He'll always be a Blazer." Smith signed with UAB in February.