Josh Smith to assist slain player’s family

Rajaan Bennett (Rivals.com)

Rajaan Bennett (Rivals.com)

A break from basketball for real life: Josh Smith will assist the family of slain McEachern High School football player Rajaan Bennett. Smith pledged to cover six months of living expenses for Bennett’s family.

Smith, who grew up in Powder Springs and attended McEachern, said in a statement released by the team that he met Bennett while working out at the school last summer and “was very impressed with him as a person, student and athlete.”

“I can’t imagine what his family is going through, but hopefully this will give them one less thing to worry about as they try to cope with this terrible tragedy,” Smith said.

Bennett was shot and killed last month by his mother’s ex-boyfriend. He had signed a letter of intent to play at Vanderbilt in the fall. He is survived by his mother Narjaketha Bennett, sister Narcharlette and brother Desyvon.

The Hawks plan to recognize Bennett prior to their game against the Pistons on Saturday.

MC

88 comments Add your comment

speedygurl

March 9th, 2010
3:12 pm

That’s unconditional love. Good job Josh!

mmgtfan

March 9th, 2010
3:13 pm

What a classy move Josh. Prayers go out to the Bennett family

Khao$

March 9th, 2010
3:16 pm

Smoove is proving that his maturity has extended beyond the basketball court. This gesture is greater than any dunk, block, or assist he’s ever made.

Ramon

March 9th, 2010
3:18 pm

Khaos, this isn’t the first time Smith has done something like this in the community. He’s constantly giving back. He’s the Warrick Dunn of the Hawks.

DemondWilson

March 9th, 2010
3:25 pm

Smooth is proving once again that he is having an incredible season, both on and off the court. Smith is maturing as a player and as a humanitarian. That is probably the kindest thing Ive ever seen an athlete do for someone. What a class act!

Melvin

March 9th, 2010
3:31 pm

Very kind of you to do this Mr.Joshua Smith. If my memory recalls me correctly, I think Smith paid funeral expenses for another person that was killed a few years ago… Yes, these are some of the best assists that he could every make on or off the basketball court…

Section 303

March 9th, 2010
3:31 pm

Good story! Amazing jesture by Josh Smith.

MyView

March 9th, 2010
3:34 pm

Smoove is turning out to be a real good dude, and I am very proud of him. Keep up the good work on and off of the court.

Venom

March 9th, 2010
3:36 pm

Good Job Josh.

AtWork

March 9th, 2010
3:41 pm

Glad to know that the people the community support support our community!

Go Hawks! and with this kind of attitude you will find yourself a leader in the communtiy and an example to others.

Thanks Josh for a happy story even though something bad happend.

PMC

March 9th, 2010
3:41 pm

Heart and Soul of the Hawks…. heart and soul of the city. Just one more reason to like Josh.

Willie Coyote

March 9th, 2010
3:46 pm

I seem to remember people on this blog calling him a thug at one point. I wonder how many people they have helped in their pathetic lives. Good job #5.

northcyde

March 9th, 2010
3:55 pm

This is very nice to see. People here in Tennessee ( Nashville area ), were pretty shocked to hear how this kid died. It’s the 2nd time a football player from Vandy ( or who was going to Vandy ), has been murdered within the past 5 years or so.

A lot of people were touched by this story. Glad to see Smoove step up and do a real good deed for this family.

beach dawg

March 9th, 2010
3:56 pm

God bless you Josh-

Maxx

March 9th, 2010
3:57 pm

Anyone who has anything bad to say about the character of Josh Smith can read this story and put a sock in it. What an unselfish, caring thing to do for someone else. J-Smoov is a true humanitarian. This is a great story

O'Brien

March 9th, 2010
4:01 pm

Great job by Josh stepping up and doing something like this. Its not just about basketball, it’s also real life.

Khao$

March 9th, 2010
4:02 pm

Thanks Ramon for bringing that to my attention (his past efforts). That said,(especially after hearing his interview on 790) this guy is really focused…on life. I’m proud to have him on my team

Astro Joe

March 9th, 2010
4:08 pm

Nice gesture by Josh.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 9th, 2010
4:24 pm

Great to read this. I’m sure it won’t stop people from calling him a selfish thug the next time he shoots a 3 though.

Astro Joe

March 9th, 2010
4:27 pm

Najeh, so if MC published a story about Woody doing something good in the community… never mind.

Clyde

March 9th, 2010
4:28 pm

My prayers are with the family

EW

March 9th, 2010
4:28 pm

people helping people…it’s a beautiful thing

ignition

March 9th, 2010
4:35 pm

Good Job Josh… We Need To Hear More Stories Like This From Our Athletes…

mike

March 9th, 2010
4:37 pm

great move by josh, class act.. now i will contribute to the family as well if josh promises to stop taking jump shots :)

JM

March 9th, 2010
4:48 pm

Keep it up Josh. Doing good my man.

Grandad

March 9th, 2010
4:48 pm

Michael:

If you can figure out a way to do it. Why don’t we (your blog people)
send a little money in. I’ll start with $100.00. we can send it to you or whatever, then get it to the family. Thoughts? Tell me what where to send? TEAM = Together Everyone Accomplishes More!

ant banks

March 9th, 2010
4:48 pm

and jus’ think, some of y’all fools wanted to trade jsmoove. talkin’ bout him bein’ a knuckle head. the young man has grown up, a lot and i am glad that he is a hawk.

much love to the bennet family

doc

March 9th, 2010
4:49 pm

josh is a winner in so many respects, only one more expression of it. i was so blown away by the wastefulness of the story as i read it and truly wondered why. many reasons as to why came up but not due to the actions of the boy. aj to finish your sentence complain about iso’s and lack of interior involvement. only if you do. ;-)

ripdog

March 9th, 2010
4:54 pm

That was very kind and generous of you Josh. It is always good to see athletes step up and lend a helping hand to those in need. Especially to such good people such as the Bennetts.

DCB

March 9th, 2010
5:02 pm

May God continue to Bless you Josh! This is such a great thing to do for this family during this time! You said it best is once less thing that they would have to worry about. My prayers are going out to the family.

dstdeelite

March 9th, 2010
5:07 pm

Bravo, Mr. Smith!! Well done.

bigdave

March 9th, 2010
5:14 pm

genuine gesture from Josh… so misunderstood… hopefully the anti-nba community and sports journalist take notice… so quick to don him a coach killer etc.; print this..

Astro Joe

March 9th, 2010
5:44 pm

doc, I’m not sure that I ever read anything that judged Josh off the court. In fact, i don;t think any of our players has made a misstep off the court. When we come here to “evaluate” players and coaches, I don’t think that anyone is casting judgement on that player/coach as a person. Surely, the NBA’s Man of the Year has made boneheaded basketball decisions during the course of the season. I’d venture to say that some less than kind words may have been written about David Robinson or Dikembe’s on-court performance while they have long been considered among the greatest humanitarians in sports.

I congratulate Josh and any player/coach for reaching out to those in need. And hopefully they know that when we complain about an on-court issue, it isn’t a criticism of their morality. Josh’s heart and his decision to shoot a 3-ball are in no way related.

Tony

March 9th, 2010
6:02 pm

Awesome gesture. You are a blessing Mr. Smith.

Big Ray

March 9th, 2010
6:02 pm

I wish the family the strength to deal with this tragedy.

Kudos to Josh for helping out any way he can, that is a stand-up thing to do.

Big Ray

March 9th, 2010
6:03 pm

Co-sign Astro Joe’s 5:44 post…..

ASHEVILLE DAWG

March 9th, 2010
6:06 pm

Class move Mr. Smith. You’ve earned my respect.

Michael Cunningham

March 9th, 2010
6:07 pm

@Granddad: i will check to see if there is a fund set up for the family by the Hawks or any other organization and let you know.

@Astro Joe: nice perspective. it shouldn’t be personal.

The Truth

March 9th, 2010
6:18 pm

Dear Joshua Smith

As you have demonstrated your kindness, may God return blessings to you and your family with exceeding joy. On this day, you have placed the game of basketball in its proper prospective. Your token of love for this family will never be forgotten.

Sincerely,

The Truth

Football Fan

March 9th, 2010
6:25 pm

Six months??? Not much for a multi-millionaire.

Josh Fan

March 9th, 2010
6:48 pm

Mike Cunningham McEachern High School has a fund set up. Try calling the school for more details @ 770 -222-3710

Josh Fan

March 9th, 2010
6:55 pm

Hey football Fan, instaed of Hating try Donating!!!!!!

Josh Fan

March 9th, 2010
7:02 pm

“Instead”

Najeh Davenpoop

March 9th, 2010
7:05 pm

AJ, my post wasn’t directed at you or people like you who keep your criticisms on the court, like me. It was directed at people who indiscriminately throw around words like “thug” at NBA players (and we all know why) despite stories like this one.

Astro Joe

March 9th, 2010
7:09 pm

Najeh, cool, I misunderstood… ain’t the first time. :oops:

Mz. Hawkdafied

March 9th, 2010
7:23 pm

What a touching act of kindness and compassion!

Blast

March 9th, 2010
7:38 pm

Amazing how a positive article can totally change the mood on the blog. Folks were really going at it on the previous blog. Good job, Josh!

Per Hawks, Hawks are who they are, man. Hawks are really the same team as last year. Only difference is the addition of Jamal, and Josh and AL improving. Apart from that, Hawks are virtually the same team that won 47 games last year, a cheap team with a cheap coach and a cheap payroll. So for anyone to expect them to win a championship this year is unrealistic. And I divorced my emotional feelings from Hawks years ago. Love the team, root for them, but I don’t allow their loses to get me mad. Disappointed, yes, mad, hell nah! These are millionaires playing the game they love for a living. If they cannot bring the zeal, passion and will every night, then shame on them.

I’m with Northcyde on this one. Just gonna go along with the ride, see fow far Hawks can go with their current roster. Whether Hawks win a title in my lifetime or get knocked out of the 1st round this year, neither scenario is gonna put a dime in my pocket, so why get so emotionally vested? Ain’t good for your health!

Sweet Home Alabama

March 9th, 2010
8:17 pm

Mr.Josh .you will be blessed for your kindness.I hope you and the Hawks finish strong.

JeJe

March 9th, 2010
8:24 pm

Good for Josh. Turning into a good guy.

FIRE WOODY

kwooden1

March 9th, 2010
8:56 pm

My prayers go out to the family, great gesture by Smoove.

GO HAWKS!!