Andrew Smith Dies at 25
The American basketball player who was born on 9th September 1990 passed away this Tuesday after a long battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia. Andrew played in a couple of NCAA Final Fours in his Butler University career and for Neptunas. He was raised in Indianapolis area and attended Covenant Christian High School where he actually made a name for himself. In his senior year he was named All-City player of the year and he also led the state of Indiana in rebounding and eventually was selected for National Christian School Athletic Association All-American.
After his school he was offered scholarship from Butler University to play basketball. Here in his freshman year he was a reserve but he played in the Elite Eight game against Kansas State and assisted the school to appear in its first Final Four game. He became a starter in his sophomore year and this allowed the school to reappear in Final Four game. In his junior year he made score in more than 52% of his attempts and also worked hard on 3-point shooting. In his senior year he led the team in rebounding and became the vocal leader for them. Butler came back to NCAA tournament and Smith recorded the career best figures and a record for Butler as 16 rebounds against Bucknell in a match up of second round. He was chosen for Academic All-American and was also selected for Senior CLASS Award. He ended his career at college with 100 wins and over 1000 rebounds making him one of the only three to achieve this feat.
After graduating from Butler in finance he married his longtime girlfriend. He participated in Portsmouth Invitational Tournament which is a tournament held post season for the NBA prospects he averaged 5.3 points and 6.7 rebounds. Before the NBA Draft he had his training at St. Vincent Sports Performance Center located in Indianapolis. He worked out for 6 NBA teams, twice for Indiana Pacers. He was not expected for a draft but did receive offers from Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunders. He took the offer from the Thunders team and played as a member in 2013 Summer team. Later on that year, Lithuanian basketball club named Neptunas made an announcement that they have signed Andrew Smith for their 2013-14 season. Smith had a rare skill to be competent at scoring 3 point shooters and rarely dunked as a center.
After such a promising start to a career that could soar to new heights of fame and glory his career prematurely ended in the beginning of 2014. He began to have increased trouble in breathing after a suspicious bump that appeared on his neck. In the beginning he was sure that this is not a case of cancer but and MRI scan revealed a cancerous tumor in one of his lungs. He returned to the doctors in Indianapolis and they stated that he is suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma and later on made it more specific to be T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma which is a type of cancer found in children and the survival rate for that age is 50-50 but the odds are against the adults.
He went under chemotherapy and took a job in a company owned by family friends. On the third day of his job he collapsed on his office floor and went into cardiac arrest for over 22 minutes and after being revived was rushed to the nearest hospital where he was placed in medically induced coma and woke up after 4 days. Doctors were not linking this condition with his ongoing cancer battle but his family were thinking in the opposite manner. By the end of that year he had his final chemotherapy treatment and went under maintenance treatment where he had to take several medicines.
In November 2015 he received a bone marrow transplant but his condition never improved. In December 2015 in a blog post his wife reported that lymphoma has turned into swift leukemia. He remained hospitalized until Christmas where he was given a leave to enjoy holidays at home and his condition further worsened an he was readmitted to the hospital and in January 2016 he was to receive his second bone marrow transplant. After three days his wife posted that doctor tell him that he is nearing his death and on 12th January, 2016 he died in his sleep at a very young age of 25.