A lot has been said about the ability of Stephen A Smith the basketball player. Most of it hasn’t come from him.
But Friday the Winston-Salem State alumnus who came to the HBCU to play for Basketball Hall of Famer Clarence “Big House” Gaines spoke about his basketball abilities.
“When I say I wasn’t great, I’m talking about compared to greatness,” Smith said on his podcast. “I was good enough to get a basketball scholarship. I was good enough to get my education paid for — with two bad knees.”
He then addressed information floating around that he averaged 1.5 points per game.
“That’s a lie,” Smith said. “It was less.”
“How about zero. Because I never played. Because I cracked my kneecap in half. I got operated on at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. My mama was by my bedside. My sisters came to see me. They said I’d never walk straight again. My bone cracked in half my first year at Winston-Salem State.”
Smith then pivoted to his off-the-court contributions to his HBCU and others, including his work with HBCU Week.
“I am a graduate of an HBCU. Winston-Salem State University. I donate a minimum of $50-$100k a year to my alma mater. A minimum!” Smith said with his voice rising. “Along with contributions to various other people I know in the HBCU community.”
Stephen A speaks on IMG Academy camp
The subject of Stephen A Smith the basketball player came up after online chatter about Smith headlining a basketball camp at IMG Academy that costs $2,899. Many balked at the idea of Smith’s name being associated with a basketball camp at all, much less one so expensive. Smith took exception to this.
“When you’ve got the kind of reach that I have, when you reach over two billion people annually on YouTube alone, I don’t really have to comment on everything,” Smith began. “But I’m not trying to back up, particularly when false narratives are being put out there.”
Smith said he’s not taking a dime for his time.
“I’m speaking at a basketball camp. They put a basketball camp in my name. I’m honored! Do you know the history of IMG? Do you know the reputation of IMG? Do you know the reputation of IMG? Do you know the stars that have come out of that academy? Do you know how it was first started? Do you know the work that they do, the contributions they make to a bunch of kids that are underprivileged?”
Clearly, Smith had a lot to get off his chest on Friday.