ANNIE WEBER| NEWS EDITOR | firstname.lastname@example.org
Smith continues to help others
A funeral service for Andrew Smith was held at Trader’s Point Christian Church on Sunday, Jan. 17. The service, honoring Smith’s life, was not about his time in Hinkle, but rather his love of Christ.
Attendees began filling the large sanctuary an hour before the service. The Butler men’s basketball team walked in together to support their fallen teammate. Smith’s close friends and family followed and filled the front of the room.
Videos played on the big screen of his family talking about Andrew before the service. All talked about the importance of faith in Smith’s life. His brother described him as a beast on the court, but with a heart full of Jesus.
Members of the community came to support the widely admired Bulldog.
Rev. Lenore Williams is the aunt of Smith’s Butler teammate, Ronald Nored. She attended the service to show her support.
“I came to honor his life,” she said. “Not only for basketball, but for his wife and their faith. Now others will live and be encouraged.”
The service was streamed live, reaching countless viewers with the power of the Internet.
Andrew Smith became a household name in the Butler and Indianapolis communities after his success on the basketball court. This included two Final Four appearances during his career as a Butler bulldog from 2009 to 2013.
He was known as a beast on the court, and with a stature nearly seven feet, he was often called a friendly giant off the court. He was an accomplished athlete and worked hard in the classroom, several family members explained on video.
Aaron Brockett, pastor and friend of Smith’s family, said Smith was a man of few words, but when he spoke his words mattered. He said Smith was never the loudest, but always made a big impact.
Through the tragedy and even in the final seconds of his life, Smith’s family said they were all able to feel joy because of their faith. Brockett conveyed Andrew’s ease through faith.
“He didn’t want to die,” he said. “But he wasn’t afraid to.”
Brad Stevens, Smith’s coach at Butler, spoke about Smith’s shy nature, but willingness to speak in front of 10,000 people at a basketball game to raise money for charity.
“He tried to help everyone else live better,” Stevens said. “Nobody could’ve packed more meaningfulness in 25 years than Andrew Smith.”
After several speakers, the service concluded with worship. Nearly every member of Smith’s family had their hands raised high, singing praise.
While Smith’s family and friends left the room, those remaining in their seats held up four fingers on each hand up to their heads.
Number 44, Moose, friendly giant. No matter what the nickname, the service showed Andrew Smith will forever be a beloved bulldog and is deeply missed.