Arizona's Ray Smith, a former four-star recruit, announced his retirement from basketball on Thursday, two days after tearing his right ACL during an exhibition game. It was the redshirt freshman's third ACL tear and second right ACL tear in the last three years.
"My run in basketball has been great," the talented 6-foot-8 wing said in his post. "My father once told me that just because someone is a good basketball player doesn't make them a good person. That the sport doesn't define who we are only what we can do. I love the game of basketball but I have decided to step away from the game for good."
Smith, ranked 29th in the 2015 recruiting class per ESPN.com, tore his right ACL in practice prior to the start of the 2015-16 season and missed the entire year. He tore his left ACL in high school.
During an exhibition against College of Idaho on Tuesday, Smith landed awkwardly on a layup attempt. He then signaled to the team's medical staff that he was hurt before he was carried off the court.
Per the school, Smith is scheduled to have surgery this month and begin his rehab after the procedure. The Las Vegas native will stay enrolled at Arizona.
"In the 25 years I have been a college basketball coach, I have never felt as helpless as I did when I saw him go down on Tuesday night," Arizona's Sean Miller said via statement from the school. "No 19-year-old kid should have to experience three season-ending injuries in a 30-month period of time. I have watched Ray work with our strength and conditioning coach tirelessly for two years. I have seen him in our training room around the clock, doing everything he can to play the game he loves. To witness his extraordinary efforts and see this happen to him once again is beyond disheartening."
It's been a tough preseason for both Arizona and Smith.
Earlier this week, Smith tweeted that one of his "lil bros" had been murdered in Las Vegas. A source close to the team said the victim was actually one of Smith's close friends.
Thanks to all the fans but I'm blessed man to even be where I am. One of my lil bros from vegas was murdered in his apartment the other day.
— Ray Smith (@raysmith2297) November 2, 2016
Miller announced this week that sophomore Chance Comanche has been suspended indefinitely due to academic challenges. And Pac-12 Player of the Year contender Allonzo Trier, who did not make an appearance at Pac-12 media day, did not suit up or compete in the team's exhibition this week, which intensified the questions about his availability this season. Miller has refused to answer questions about Trier thus far.
Smith, Comanche and Trier were all key members of Arizona's dazzling 2015 class.