Arizona Wildcats forward Ray Smith has torn his ACL in his right knee and has decided to retire from basketball, it was announced on Thursday.
Smith suffered the injury in the second half of Arizona’s exhibition game versus the College of Idaho.
Smith, who’s torn his ACL three times now, also had other ligament and meniscus damage in his right knee.
Here is Sean Miller’s statement, in its entirety.
About a year ago I began my statement regarding Ray Smith’s season-ending injury by saying, “Ray Smith is one of the most talented young players that has ever entered our program.” Unfortunately, I begin this year’s statement by reiterating the special talent that Ray has on the basketball court and once again addressing a season-ending knee injury.
In the 25 years I have been a college basketball coach, I have never felt as helpless as I did when I saw him go down on Tuesday night. No 19-year-old kid should have to experience three season-ending injuries in a 30-month period of time. I have watched Ray work with our strength and conditioning coach tirelessly for two years. I have seen him in our training room around the clock, doing everything he can to play the game he loves. To witness his extraordinary efforts and see this happen to him once again is beyond disheartening.
Ray is surrounded by a community that loves Arizona Basketball, current and former teammates that look at him as a brother, and a coaching staff and family that is beyond supportive and forever with him. Although the mountain that Ray is climbing continues to change, my belief in him to be a resounding success in life has never been stronger. His intelligence, charisma and sheer will position him to be special in all that he does. I certainly look forward to helping him, as part of our basketball family, reach all of the goals that he sets out to achieve.”
Here is Smith’s statement announcing his retirement:
Thank you ! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/YRB6EwUFCA— Ray Smith (@raysmith2297) November 3, 2016
Smith will stay in school and work toward getting his degree.