Hazard basketball legend Sam Smith dies at 78
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Sam Smith, a legendary Hazard High School basketball player, and one of the first African-American student athletes to integrate the University of Louisville basketball program has died.
Smith was 78.
A sad day for our Cardinal family as we mourn the passing of Sam Smith, one of the first three African-American student-athletes to integrate the UofL men's basketball program.— Louisville Men's Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) May 19, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. pic.twitter.com/MWxQ1jR4Rc
Smith attended and played at Hazard High School in the late 1950s and early 1960s before moving on to become one of the first black players to start at the University of Louisville under head coach Peck Hickman.
Smith then transferred to Kentucky Wesleyan College, where we won a national championship in 1966.
He was drafted by the Cincinnati Royals of the NBA in 1967, and played in the ABA between 1967 and 1971 with the Minnesota Muskies, Kentucky Colonels and Utah Stars. He won an ABA Championship with the Stars in 1971, beating his former team the Colonels in seven games.
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