Shaka Smart’s grandfather dies

Walter King, the grandfather of Virginia Commonwealth University

men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart, has died.

Scott Day, VCU’s basketball sports information director, says

King died early Tuesday. He was 90.

Smart, who still plans to travel with the Rams to the Final Four

on Wednesday, says his grandfather was the ”second biggest

influence in my life” and helped develop his appreciation for

basketball. From the time Smart was about 10, he says he would

receive packages from King containing basketball-related articles

clipped from Chicago newspapers.

Smart told the Richmond Times-Dispatch last week that his

grandfather was in a Chicago hospital with failing kidneys.

Day says funeral services for King will take place after the

Final Four.