Sekou Smith, an NBA reporter and analyst frequently seen on NBA TV, died on Tuesday after a battle with COVID-19.

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The 48-year-old journalist began his career with the Indianapolis Star as a beat writer for the Indiana pacers before moving to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ESPN reports he would join Turner Sports in 2009.

“We are all heartbroken over Sekou’s tragic passing. His commitment to journalism and the basketball community was immense and we will miss his warm, engaging personality,” Turner Sports said in a statement. “He was beloved by his Turner Sports and NBA friends and colleagues. Our deepest condolences are with his family and loved ones.”


Smith was survied by his wife, Heather, and three children.

“The NBA mourns the passing of Sekou Smith, a beloved member of the NBA family,” commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “Sekou was one of the most affable and dedicated reporters in the NBA and a terrific friend to so many across the league. He covered the game for more than two decades, including the past 11 years with Turner Sports, where he showed his full range of skills as an engaging television analyst, podcast host and writer. Sekou’s love of basketball was clear to everyone who knew him and it always shined through in his work. Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife, Heather, and their children, Gabriel, Rielly and Cameron.”