Jamari Smith, a standout athlete at Lee High School in Montgomery who was committed to play basketball and football for the UAB Blazers, died in a drowning accident Wednesday evening at a lake in Chewacla State Park in Lee County, as first reported by AL.com. Smith was 18 years old.

According to reports, Smith was swimming with friends when he became tired and went under. His friends called 911 when they couldn't find him. Emergency personnel tried to revive Smith, but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 6:05 p.m. at the East Alabama Medical Center.

 

Smith and his Generals won the 7A Alabama State Basketball Championship over Mountain Brook 40-38, capturing its first state championship and dethroning the thrice consecutive champion Spartans. The Generals took a late advantage with under four minutes left with three free throws from Smith, a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Smith went on to sign with UAB, set to play basketball as well as wide receiver for the football team.

The team honored two additional players who had passed away within the past four years during the championship game. Rod Scott, who died in a car accident in 2016, and Shaquille Johnson who was shot and killed in 2018. Scott was the close friend of Henry Ruggs III whom Ruggs honors after every touchdown he scores.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app