Dauster: Special Bond Between Smith and Cook
By caseyholdahl Posted in: NolanSmith
It's about a month old, but Rob Dauster at SI.com has a great story about the relationship between Nolan Smith and Quinn Cook
, a sophomore point guard at Duke. The two have been friends since childhood, but their bond was strengthened when Cook, like Smith, lost his father.
It was a tragedy and a blessing all the same, because Smith knew far too well what it was like to lose a father at a young age. His dad, Derek, passed away when Nolan was just eight years old. It was the last day of a cruise the family went on with the Washington Bullets, who Derek was coaching at the time. Like 'Uncle Ted', as Nolan calls him, Derek's heart had stopped beating, and neither of the two defibrillators on board were able to resuscitate him.
Smith knew exactly what little brother was going through. He knew what he was going to have to deal with over the coming days and weeks, months and years. He knew what it was like to get choked up at Father's Day commercials on TV. He knew the inherent sadness that came with experiencing every one of his successes without his father. He knew the jealously that came with seeing classmates and teammates spend time with their dads. He knew of the onslaught of people calling and texting, of the house filled with well-wishers and loved ones.
And he knew precisely how to deal with it.
"I told him as soon as it happened: Go to the gym," Smith said. "Use the gym to take your tears away and to put a smile on your face. That's where your dad would want for you to be and that's where you want to be. It's the only place that's going to make you happy."
It's a great story, though not at all surprising for anyone who knows Nolan, who does, in fact, introduce Cook to people as his "little brother."