Saturday marked No. 23 Butler’s first game since the passing of former player Andrew Smith, who played four seasons at the school and was a member of their national runner-up teams in 2010 and 2011. Prior to their game against St. John’s the school played a video tribute and held a moment of silence in Smith’s honor.
Saturday was also “Stay Positive Day” at Hinkle Fieldhouse, with both teams going through pregame warmups wearing special T-shirts to mark the occasion.
This is the third straight year in which Butler has designated a game on its schedule as the “Stay Positive” game. The Stay Positive Foundation was founded by cancer survivor Eric Day. The school is also holding multiple fundraisers throughout the game with proceeds going to the Smith family.
At halftime Samantha Smith, Andrew’s widow, and former Butler player Erik Fromm (who was a teammate of Smith’s) addressed the crowd with Samantha thanking them for their support throughout her husband’s battle with cancer. The school also announced the establishment of the Andrew Smith Scholarship Fund Saturday afternoon.