Hazard basketball legend Sam Smith dies at 78

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Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:12 PM EDT
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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.

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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