Report: Smart’s grandfather dies at 90
The grandfather of Final Four-bound VCU’s head basketball coach died Tuesday, according to the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch.
Walter King, 90, was a big influence on his grandson, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Shaka Smart, and served as a father figure for the head coach, according to the newspaper.
On Tuesday, as 11th-seeded VCU held its last day of practices in Richmond before heading to Houston and the Final Four of the NCAA tournament, Smart spent part of the day attending to family matters, the Dispatch reported.
At a news conference at VCU’s Siegel Center, Shaka discussed King’s influence on his life, according to the paper:
"He was probably the second-biggest influence of my life," Smart reportedly said. "He taught me humility, appreciation. He taught me how to interact with people. I was raised by my mom, and a lot of time when kids are raised only by a woman you need a male influence that can teach you certain things that only a man can teach you."
VCU faces No. 8-seeded Butler on Saturday in the Final Four.