(HALIFAX, N.S.) Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce Halifax educator and basketball coach Wade Smith has been posthumously named the honorary chair of the 2018 Subway AUS Basketball Championships.
Smith was a teacher and principal in the Halifax area for over 25 years, a tirelessly dedicated community basketball coach, and a two-time AUAA (now AUS) first team all-star and two-time Junior National Team member during his time as a student-athlete.
He passed away in June 2017 at the age of 50 after a short but courageous battle with stomach cancer.
Wade will be represented over the course of the March 2 to 4 championships by several members of the Smith family, including wife Sherry, sons Jaydan and Jaxon, and siblings Mark, Craig, Thane and Lezlie.
Jaydan Smith is currently a freshman guard for the StFX X-Men basketball team.
"We are grateful to see Wade being recognised in the manner," said older brother Mark. "Wade's priority was his family, and spending time with his wife Sherry and sons Jaydan and Jaxon. The sport of basketball and advocating for young people were two of his passions. Wade's ability to use his platform as an educator, community leader, and elite athlete to help kids realize their potential and pursue their dreams are just a few of the many qualities that allowed him to have such an impact on the lives of those who were fortunate enough to get to know him."
"Attending the AUS championships each March was one of the highlights of his year—a chance to reconnect with teammates and competitors from his time as a player in the AUAA, but also to enjoy spending time with his wife and sons at this event."
Hailing from Halifax, N.S., Wade Smith was a guard for the StFX X-Men from 1985 to 1990.
Over his five-year career, he posted 2,235 points (1,245 in AUS regular season play) and is ranked eighth overall on the StFX all-time career scoring list.
Smith was named X-Men rookie of the year following his inaugural season with StFX in 1986. He earned StFX male athlete of the year nods in 1990, back-to-back AUS first team all-star honours in 1989 and 1990 and was named a CIAU (now CIS) second team all-Canadian in 1990.
After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree at StFX, he went on to complete a Bachelor of Education at Saint Mary's University and a Masters of Education from Mount Saint Vincent University.
Smith went on to find great success in his professional endeavours as an educator, serving as a teacher at several schools around HRM, and later as the principal of Citadel High School.
He became involved with basketball as a coach and mentor, coaching for the community YMCA, the high school level, Basketball Nova Scotia, and eventually serving as head coach of Nova Scotia's U17 Boys Canada Games Team.
Speaking at a TEDx event organized by Mount Saint Vincent University in March 2017, Smith told the audience, "Everything that I know about how to be a leader […] comes from the fact that I come from a family that had a sports background and had an opportunity to play sports at a very high level."
"Giving back was an obligation to my community, to young kids coming up after me," said Smith. "It's simply the way it was ingrained in me as a young man, that that's what I'm supposed to do. Lots and lots of people told me by example."
He continued to be a loyal StFX alumnus, serving as a staff member at the Xavier Basketball camp for over 25 years. Shortly after his passing, StFX announced the creation of a new scholarship in his name.
The Wade Smith Memorial Scholarship is in the process of being developed at St FX.
"Wade was a respected and admired leader in the sport community and community at large. Wade was an amazing person and I personally enjoyed any time spent with him." said AUS executive director Phil Currie. "As a player in our conference, his record speaks for itself, as do his many contributions to the StFX basketball community. We're very grateful to the Smith family for allowing us to honour Wade in this way, and for being a part of this event that brings the hardest working basketball coaches and student-athletes in the region together in what has become a yearly celebration of the sport."
The 2018 Subway AUS Basketball Championships will take place March 2-4 at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. Six men's teams and six women's teams will compete for their respective conference titles.
For event details, including schedules and ticketing information, please visit www.AUSHoops.ca.