Just as the Wildcats were traveling to Las Vegas last Wednesday, forward Ray Smith was undergoing surgery for his torn ACL. While the ever-upbeat Smith rejoined the team at the Las Vegas Invitational afterward, that doesn’t mean everybody felt good about it.
Smith has now suffered three ACL tears, prompting him to announce his retirement from basketball last month.
“It was successful in that everything was repaired,” UA coach Sean Miller said. “But it was the worst of the three knee injuries he’s experienced. It’s almost astonishing to say that because everybody saw his injury this time and that was that he landed on a layup. He pretty much lost everything in his knee. Everything was torn. It’s hard to believe. It really is.
“To not acknowledge what that kid has been through wouldn’t be responsible on my part, to point out the unbelievable adversity he’s been under and how well he’s handled it.”
Miller has said Smith will continue to be a part of the UA program through graduation, most likely in a graduate assistant-type role, as much as NCAA rules allow.