KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — After 33 years of coaching college basketball, this was the season Kalamazoo College head coach Jay Smith was looking forward to most.
"A big part of being here is that my son gets to play for me finally. It's never really happened (before)," Smith said.
But his son Cooper aggravated a back injury last summer and has yet to play as a freshman. And Jay Smith himself was diagnosed with something far worse.
"When you hear the word cancer, you can't help it because the first thing you think about is death," Smith said. "It's a punch in the gut. It knocks you down."
Smith burst on to the Michigan basketball scene more than four decades ago. A four-year varsity starter at Mio AuSable High School, he averaged nearly 37 points per game as a senior in 1979 and set all-time Michigan high school career scoring record. His 2,841 points shattered the old mark by more than 600. More than 40 years later, the record still stands.
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