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Sports world reacts to the passing of Dean Smith
1:19 | College Basketball
Sports world reacts to the passing of Dean Smith
Sunday February 8th, 2015

The world of basketball mourned the loss of legendary University of North Carolina coach Dean Smith, who died Saturday night at the age of 83. 

"He set the standard for loyalty and concern for every one of his players, not just the games won or lost," current North Carolina head coach Roy Williams said in a statement. "He was the greatest there ever was on the court but far, far better off the court with people.​"

SI VAULT: Dean Smith is SI's 1997 Sportsman of the Year

The Tar Heels' rival, Duke University, tweeted its condolences, while Kentucky head coach John Calipari termed Smith "the most innovative and player-loved coach of his time."

Former UNC player Sean May, whose father was also coached by Smith, posted a photo of Smith to his Instagram account while NBA legend Kobe Bryant mourned "one of the greatest teachers our beautiful game of basketball has ever seen."

Smith, who coached innumerable players, including Michael Jordan, over his 36-year head coaching career and won 879 games and two NCAA championships, lived with advanced dementia late in his life.

- Will Green

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