ESU Community Mourns the Death of Student Athlete Ryan Smith

Photo Credit/ESU Athletics

Max Augugliaro

News Editor

The ESU community is mourning the loss of one of its own, Ryan Smith.

According to an email sent by ESU on March 22, Smith had passed away that same morning in his home surrounded by loved ones. He had been battling acute myeloid leukemia (AML) since Aug. 2019.

Smith was a member of ESU’s Basketball program in what was a short, yet triumphant collegiate basketball career.  In his only season, he made the 2018-19 All-PSAC East selection Second Team, and was awarded Freshman of the Year.

Many ESU staff members have offered their condolences to Ryan’s family and loved ones.

“Ryan was a talented player and tireless worker, but beyond that, he was a tremendous teammate and an absolute joy to coach and to be around in the locker room, on the bus and in the office,” said men’s basketball head coach, Jeff Wilson, “This is a tremendous loss of a young man who had a bright future and accomplished so much in his life.”

“He was beloved by the Warriors athletics family, first for his performances on the court and our interactions with him in Koehler Fieldhouse, and then during his battle with AML,” stated ESU’s director of athletics, Dr. Gary R. Gray. “We all mourn with Ryan’s family and will do all we can to support his teammates and all our student athletes during this time.”

“ESU greatly appreciates the thoughts, prayers, and generosity of the campus and our entire PSAC family,” interim president Kenneth Long said, “Ryan made a lasting impact during his short time with us.  He will always be remembered as the epitome of an ESU Warrior.”

As of the writing of this article, a plethora of ESU students, as well as ESU organizations, have took to Instagram to add a post mourning the loss of Smith–originally posted by ESU’s sports information office (@esuwarriors)–to their stories.  Some even shared a video commemoration of Ryan, that had also been posted by @esuwarriors.

According to an article released by the Men’s Basketball page on ESU’s athletics website, Smith was, “Supported by his teammates and classmates, through a fundraiser by ESU’s student-athlete advisory committee of RelentlesS t-shirts (emphasizing ESU’ Men’s basketball team motto and Ryan’s initials).”

He was also supported by, “His fellow competitors of the PSAC as several programs donated tickets receipts and other funds to Ryan and his family.”

Smith is survived by his father, Craig; mother, Kim; brother, Darren; sister, Katelyn; and girlfriend, Molly Gorczyca.

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