Former Butler C Andrew Smith dies at 25

By The Sports Xchange  |  Jan. 13, 2016 at 12:38 PM
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Former Butler center Andrew Smith died Tuesday in Indianapolis after a battle with cancer.

The 6-foot-11 Smith, who played on Butler teams coached by Brad Stevens that reached the NCAA championship game in 2010 and 2011, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2014 that turned into leukemia late last year after a bone marrow transplant failed.

About a month before Smith died, he was able to attend at Butler game on Dec. 19 against Purdue.

Stevens, now the head coach of the Boston Celtics, left the team last week and missed a game against the Chicago Bulls to visit Smith at a hospital in Indianapolis.

The school and Smith's wife, Samantha, confirmed his death.

"The Butler community is profoundly sad today with the news of Andrew's passing," the school said in a statement. "We saw the way Andrew fought on the basketball court and we saw the way he fought for his health. In both cases, we saw the best of Andrew Smith.

"But that's what we always saw from Andrew. He gave his all, all the time. As an Academic All-American, he represented the best of Butler in the classroom and on the court. Above all else, what made Andrew special was the way that he genuinely cared for others.

"Within his large frame was an even larger heart. He is, was, and always will be a Bulldog. The Butler community is proud to have been part of his life, and our thoughts are with his wife, Samantha; his parents, Debbie and Curt; and the rest of his family."

Smith was a reserve for the Bulldogs as a freshman in 2010 but started as a sophomore and averaged 8.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He had five points and nine rebounds in the 2011 championship game loss to Connecticut.

After his final two seasons at Butler, Smith moved to Lithuania to play professional basketball before he came back to Indiana in 2013 and the cancer was diagnosed.

"Andrew peacefully passed away in his sleep and in my arms as I told him I loved him this morning. Love you always, Smith," his wife, Samantha, tweeted.

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