Former Butler Center Andrew Smith Dies of Cancer at Age 25
Just last week we told you how Celtics coach Brad Stevens missed his team’s game against the Bulls so he could travel to Indiana to visit with Andrew Smith, his former player at Butler who was battling cancer.
Today we sadly inform you that Andrew Smith has passed away at the age of 25.
Smith was the starting center for the Butler Bulldogs teams that reached back-to-back National Championship Games under Brad Stevens in 2010 and 2011. In 2014 he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and in December 2015 that turned into leukemia.
On Sunday, Andrew Smith’s wife, Samantha, wrote a heartbreaking blog post explaining that Andrew’s time was almost up:
“The doctors tell me death is imminent and that Andrew is going to die from this disease. There are no treatments, no clinical trials…there is nothing left to do. I struggle to grasp what they’ve told me and I spend my nights crying and moaning in pain as I think about losing the one I hold most dear and close to my heart- my husband. He is afraid of death and I am afraid of life. I’m afraid of life without Andrew Smith by my side as my spouse, my protector, my best friend, my everything.”
Appropriately enough, it was Samantha Smith who first shared the news of her husband’s death via Twitter on Tuesday:
Andrew peacefully passed away in his sleep and in my arms as I told him I loved him this morning. Love you always, Smith.
— Samantha Smith (@Samantha44Smith) January 12, 2016
As one would expect, coach Stevens was pretty choked up while addressing the sad news prior to the Celtics’ game against the Knicks on Tuesday:
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Andrew Smith.