The National Basketball Association has announced Grand Rapids native and NBA reporter Sekou Smith has died.

According to WOOD, 48-year-old Sekou Smith passed away Tuesday night after a battle with COVID-19.

Smith graduated from Grand Rapids Public Schools' Central High School (now known as Innovation Central High School) in 1990. Back in December, he and his sister Misti were highlighted in an article for School News Network that talked about GRPS' new alumni directory.

He went on to get a bachelor's degree in communications at Jackson State College. He went on to become a basketball reporter for Turner Broadcasting for just over 11 years. He had previously been a writer for Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Indianapolis Star and The Clarion-Ledger. He spent over 20 years reporting on basketball.

Smith was a regular on NBA TV shows "Game Time" and "The Beat". He was also the host and creator of's "Hang Time Podcast" and blog.

WOOD reported that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said,

Sekou was one of the most affable and dedicated reporters in the NBA and a terrific friend to so many across the league. Sekou's love of basketball was clear to everyone who knew him and it always shined through in his work.

The Detroit Pistons tweeted:

Unit 1 Hoop Source tweeted,

Several of his colleagues tweeted out statements you can find here.
His colleague at NBA TV, Steve Smith, became emotional when announcing Sekou's death calling him a "journalist's journalist" and "endearingly cranky".

He is survived by his wife, Heather, and children, Cameron, Gabriel and Rielly.

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