ATLANTA -- On the court after Monday's national championship game, as the Louisville Cardinals cut down a net, Russ Smith Sr. told SI.com that his son Russ will turn pro. Russ Smith Jr., a junior, led Louisville in scoring this season.
"I told him, 'Man, this is how you go out,'" Smith Sr. said. "All the people who doubted you since high school, you proved them wrong. You have back-to-back (Big East) championships, then you come back and win the national championship. All that hard work comes from working you out since you was three years old, running the beach, running the stairs, running with medicine balls, a boxing bag, it paid off."
Smith Jr. is nicknamed "Russdiculous" by Louisville coach Rick Pitino for his penchant for taking crazy shots. Though Smith missed 13-of-16 in Louisville's title game win over Michigan, his father says he is still leaving on a great note.
"When you go out, you want to go out with a national championship," Smith Sr. said. "He's got five rings: back-to-back Big East, back-to-back Final Four, national championship. What other way to go out?"