Duke

Smith hosts Hoop-a-Thon, fights teen cancer

Posted June 30

Nolan Smith sank countless baskets, even won a National Title in his time in Durham but his personal, Duke-defining moment took place outside Cameron Indoor.

"We used to go to the hospital on Mondays and deliver doughnuts and deliver shirts," Smith said. "I think Kyle Singler was with me and we went to a room with about ten kids and their faces just lit up when we walked in there."

From there-on, Nolan knew his purpose.

"I need to help them, I need to give them a place where they can feel normal," he said.

Shortly after returning to Duke as a special assistant coach, he scored a second job title: Ambassador for Teen Cancer America.

He wanted to plan a fundraiser, but knew it needed to be something big and something apropriate.

"I'm a basketball coach, so let's think of something we can do involving basketball, involving a gym and bringing people together to shoot some hoops," Smith explained. "So, we came up with the Hoop-a-thon."

The fundraiser is a 24-team bucks-for-buckets challenge July 22nd at the Emily K Center.

Each team is coached by a Triangle hoops icon.

"Phil Ford, that's the UNC Legend, so to have him on-board is awesome," Smith said. "Brice Johnson (too). It's not just about Duke, it's about Teen Cancer America."

The outpouring of support so far is a faith-in-humanity reaffirmation for Smitty.

"People really are, they really are good," he said. "When you have something that you're really passionate about, so many people have just asked 'What can I do? What can I do to help?' That question right there just goes a long way."

More donations and volunteers are always needed, visit the event website to get involved.

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