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US College Basketball Coaching Great Dean Smith Dies

  • VOA News

FILE - Former North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, center, waves as Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, right, and former North Carolina player Charles Scott applaud during a ceremony presented by the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in Raleigh, N.C., Ju

FILE - Former North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, center, waves as Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, right, and former North Carolina player Charles Scott applaud during a ceremony presented by the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in Raleigh, N.C., Ju

American college basketball coaching legend Dean Smith, who won two national championships at the University of North Carolina, an Olympic gold medal, and was inducted to basketball's Hall of Fame, has died.

Smith, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2013, died at the age of 83 Saturday in North Carolina.

In a career that spanned more than 40 years, Smith coached many star players, including Michael Jordan and James Worthy. When he retired in 1997 he was the winningest coach in the sport with 879 victories.

More than 50 of Smith's other players went on to play professionally in the NBA or the ABA, and more played overseas. Among them: Charlie Scott, Walter Davis, Sam Perkins, Brad Daugherty, J.R. Reid, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison.

His "Four Corners" time-melting offense led to the creation of the shot clock to counter it. He was the first coach at North Carolina, and among the first in the segregated South, to offer a scholarship to a black athlete, Charlie Scott.

The now-common "point to the passer,'' in which a scorer acknowledges a teammate's assist, started with his North Carolina team and became a hallmark of Smith's always humble ``Carolina Way.''


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