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College basketball writers honor former Butler star Andrew Smith, wife Samantha with award for courage

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Andrew and Samantha Smith

4 Fast Facts

  • Andrew Smith played on both of Butler’s Final Four teams
  • He died on Jan. 12 after a two-year battle with lymphoma and leukemia
  • Smith’s wife, Samantha, chronicled his journey online
  • The U.S. Basketball Writers Association honored both with its “Most Courageous Award”

(Feb. 16, 2016) – Late Butler basketball star Andrew Smith and his widow, Samantha, have been selected for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Most Courageous Award for men’s basketball.

The honor is presented annually to players, coaches, officials or administrators in college basketball who have demonstrated extraordinary courage in the face of adversity.

Smith, an Academic All-American and tough-nosed member of Butler’s back-to-back NCAA runners-up in 2010 and 2011, died on Jan. 12 at the age of 25. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2014; it eventually developed into leukemia.

He and his wife went public with his illness, chronicling his battle against cancer on a blog. Together, they emphasized the importance of a bone marrow registry.

Samantha Smith will be presented with the award on April 4 at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Houston.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association selected Kent State coach and cancer survivor Danielle O’Banion as the recipient of the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award for women’s basketball. The organization will present O’Banion with her award during the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis on April 3.

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