Senior guard, Russ Smith, barely lost out on this season’s John Wooden Award which is passed out to the countries best player. All finalists for the Wooden Award are invited to the Wooden Award Gala in Los Angeles, CA. The Wooden Award Gala is one of the only times that all of the best college basketball players in the country are together at the same event. For these players, the Wooden Award celebration extends beyond glad handing and fancy dinners.
Every year the John Wooden award teams up with The Special Olympics of Southern California (SOSC). All finalists get involved with the even event, and every year the countries top men’s and women’s basketball players become Special Olympics coaches for a day. Russ Smith and fellow future NBA players, Cleanthony Early and Aaron Gordon had a blast coaching their team for the day. The Based King was having so much fun that he decided to make an Instagram video documenting his good time.
Athletes do positive things like this all the time, however sometimes they go unnoticed. You can tell by Russ’s enthusiasm that he was having just as much fun as the kids he was coaching. This annual SOSC event is held every year around the time of the Wooden Award gala. Russ had a blast in Southern California, even though he came up short to Doug McDermott for the award. The Based King made his coaching debut, and it couldn’t have been a better first outing.