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BOZICH | Louisville in talks to add Duke’s Nolan Smith to Kenny Payne’s staff | Sports

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)  One of the primary University of Louisville basketball gamers that Kenny Payne met when he arrived on campus in the summertime of 1985 was once Cardinal legend Derek Smith.

They shared Southern roots — Smith from Georgia, Payne from Mississippi. They performed the similar place — ahead. And they had been dedicated to luck.

Payne and Smith performed in opposition to each and every different on the low season league that after raged each summer season at Atherton High School. Payne, the brand new head basketball trainer on the University of Louisville, will inform you that no person ready him for the demanding situations of school basketball greater than Derek Smith.

“Derek was like my big brother,” Payne as soon as instructed me. “He was family.”

Nobody who is aware of the historical past of the Payne and Smith friendship is shocked by way of the inside track that Smith’s son, Nolan, has instructed Duke University that he’s going to now not go back to the training workforce subsequent season and that “he plans” to enroll in Payne as his height assistant trainer. 

Marc Spears of ESPN was once first to document the inside track that any other supply showed to WDRB.

Smith, 33, simply finished his first season as a full-time assistant trainer at Duke after serving 5 seasons as a distinct assistant and director of operations. Smith was once an very important contributor to the top-ranked six-player magnificence that Duke has signed for subsequent season, a category that includes 4 5-star potentialities in addition to a couple of 4-stars.

Duke, in fact, simply noticed its NCAA Tournament run finish Saturday night time when the Blue Devils had been defeated by way of North Carolina on the nationwide semifinals in New Orleans.

Duke returned to Durham, N.C. Sunday as this system started the transition from the top of Mike Krzyzewski’s four-decade Hall of Fame reign because the Blue Devils trainer to the beginning of this system being led by way of Jon Scheyer, Coach Ok’s selection as his successor.

Smith and Scheyer had been four-year teammates at Duke. During their senior yr, they shaped the beginning backcourt and led the Blue Devils to the 2010 NCAA name in Indianapolis

Smith, who attended Kentucky Country Day college all over the years his circle of relatives lived in Louisville, averaged higher than 13 issues in step with recreation whilst beginning 98 video games over his Duke occupation.

He was once a first-round NBA pick out of the Portland Trailblazers in 2010. Smith performed two seasons within the NBA earlier than completing his skilled occupation within the G-League and in a foreign country.

Derek Smith began at ahead on Louisville’s 1980 NCAA name workforce in addition to at the U of L workforce that complex to the 1982 Final Four.

Derek Smith stays the No. 7 scorer in Louisville historical past with 1,826 issues. He performed 9 seasons within the NBA earlier than a couple of knee accidents pressured his retirement.

Smith coached two seasons with the Washington Bullets earlier than his tragic dying in August of 1996. Smith suffered a center assault whilst on a workforce cruise together with his circle of relatives. He was once buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. Nolan Smith’s mom, Monica, is a Louisville local and U of L grad and his sister, Sydney, may be a U of L alum.

One of Derek Smith’s occupation targets was once to go back to Louisville as a basketball trainer. Now his son, Nolan, is in line to satisfy that dream.

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