Shaka Smart's grandfather dies

Updated: March 30, 2011, 2:55 PM ET
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. -- Walter King, the grandfather of Virginia Commonwealth men's basketball coach Shaka Smart, has died.

Scott Day, VCU's basketball sports information director, says King died early Tuesday. He was 90.

Smart, who still plans to travel with the Rams to the Final Four on Wednesday, says his grandfather was the "second biggest influence in my life" and helped develop his appreciation for basketball. From the time Smart was about 10, he says he would receive packages from King containing basketball-related articles clipped from Chicago newspapers.

Smart told the Richmond Times-Dispatch last week that his grandfather was in a Chicago hospital with failing kidneys.

Day says funeral services for King will take place after the Final Four.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press