Steve Marcellino of the Minutemen organization informed us of the passing of Kareem Smith. Kareem was a truly dedicated and outstanding coach who was a familiar face at all of our AAU events. Steve wrote the following in Kareem's honor: About 8 years ago a young man approached me and asked if he could volunteer his services to help coach one of my teams. He was soft spoken but very well spoken. As I got to know him, I recognized that this man had a passion for the game. However, his desire to teach and coach young men was coupled with an intense caring and nurturing heart. He wanted to help young people. He always worked very hard to give young student athletes the opportunity to compete against the best. More importantly, he helped these students build their character and develop learning habits that went well beyond the basketball court. “I was privileged to help Kareem is his early formative years of coaching. As he grew within our Minutemen organization, he took on ever increasing responsibilities both on and off the court. As we all know, a coach is a teacher. One of the hardest things teachers face is the challenge of motivating their students. The great ones develop a sixth sense to bring out the best in everyone. Great coaches build a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. Kareem was a great one. “As a young man not yet 30, he had great success in coaching at Sacred Heart High School and then at Cardinal Spellman leading them to two CHSSA championship. On the tough AAU circuit he brought his Minutemen teams to the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight in the National Championships. He justifiably could have been proud of his success, but true to his character, he remained the humble coach instead pushing his players into the spotlight. “I was always happy to be with him and share his good humor and enthusiasm. One of the best moments I have had in over 40 years of coaching basketball was being present to cheer him on when he won his first JV CHSAA championship.” John Wooden wrote a wonderful book entitled "They call me Coach". In this book he describes the honor, regard and importance of that title. The title "Coach" is not worn lightly. It is earned by the respect of one's players and the dedicated, caring, selfless leadership of the individual. As Coach Wooden said "You can't live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you".
Kareem you lived many a perfect day and everyone who had the good fortune to know you is the better for it. We proudly call you Coach. May God bless you and your family.
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