1. This is Joshua Smith. He’s a big guy, and he quit UCLA’s basketball team today.
Smith, a junior center listed at 305 pounds on UCLA’s website, left the program due to “personal reasons,” just a few years after he was touted as the No. 1 center in his recruiting class. According to the L.A. Times, Smith did not practice on Tuesday due to “weight issues,” and met with coach Ben Howland yesterday to discuss his departure from the squad.
Smith has dealt with weight issues since he arrived at UCLA, and his inability to remedy them over the past few years suggests that perhaps the 20-year-old has bigger problems than just an affinity for food. This kid is 20, was projected to be a millionaire NBA sensation from a very young age, and is now withdrawing from his college program due to a longstanding battle with his body. It’s really a tragedy, and Smith obviously needs help. Regardless, a wide range of people — including reporters paid to cover basketball — took this opportunity to pelt a young college kid with all too predictable fat jokes.