The Butler Bulldogs will wear jersey patches for the rest of the season in honor of late former player Andrew Smith.
The men’s basketball program released photos of the patches on Twitter, featuring an “AS44” portmanteau of Smith’s initials and jersey number. Smith died of cancer at age 25 on Tuesday after two years fighting the disease. He was diagnosed in 2014, in midst of his first season playing professional basketball overseas.
Smith, a native of Zionsville, Ind., played center for Butler from 2009–2013 and was a key part of a team that reached consecutive national championship games in 2010 and 2011.
His family announced last week on Twitter that his condition had taken a downturn and that he was nearing death. Smith’s wife Samantha had been detailed her husband’s fight with cancer in a series of blog posts. According to posts on the site, Smith’s cancer had gone into remission but returned in Spring 2015. In December, the disease intensified after a failed bone marrow transplant as the cancer transformed from lymphoma to leukemia.
“Andrew packed more living into his 25 years than most of us will enjoy in a full 75 years,” Smith’s father Curt wrote in a statement. “He lived his faith, relished his family, selflessly served his wife, and pursued his passion of basketball at the highest levels.”