Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hampton keeping slain teammate, ex-Bloomingdale star Theo Smalling in thoughts

TAMPA — Tonight's USF-Hampton game was intended to be a homecoming for senior forward Theo Smalling, a Bloomingdale graduate who had started 76 games in his first three seasons at the Virginia school.

Instead, it will be an emotional night for the Pirates, who lost Smalling just three days after his 22nd birthday on Oct. 26 when he died from injuries suffered in an accidental shooting.

"He was the captain of our team. He was the backbone, and a big brother to the kids on our team," Hampton coach Edward Joyner Jr. said Tuesday night as his team practiced in the Sun Dome.

"It's hard, but it's also something they wanted to do. The memory is there."

USF will hold a moment of silence for Smalling, a 6-foot-7 forward whose No. 12 jersey will be laid over a chair on the Pirates' bench, as it has in each game. His parents, Carl Smalling and Shelley George, are expected to attend as well as a large number of friends, relatives and former teammates from Bloomingdale.

Smalling was on course to graduate in May, and his family has received an honorary degree from Hampton. Joyner said his spirit will be with the Pirates this season and beyond.

"When you work with young adults, one of the things you hope is that they get it before the next stage of their lives," Joyner said. "Theo was one of those kids who got it."

Hampton keeping slain teammate, ex-Bloomingdale star Theo Smalling in thoughts 12/01/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 9:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Next up in Bucs renovations? A $20 million indoor practice facility


    Renderings of the Bucs' new indoor practice facility (Courtesy of the Bucs)
  2. Lightning re-signs Andrej Sustr to one-year, $1.95 million deal


    The Lightning locked up another piece of its blueline Monday, re-signing defenseman Andrej Sustr to a one-year, $1.95 million deal.

    Andrej Sustr 14 points in 80 games last season, a minus-10.
  3. John Calipari: Kevin Knox makes you shake your head and say 'Wow'


    Even though former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox left the USA Basketball U19 tryouts due to a hamstring injury, he still made quite an impression on coach John Calipari.

  4. How good is Florida Gators' Jim McElwain? We're about to find out


    The Gators' offense comes down to how head coach Jim McElwain handles the quarterback battle between Zaire and redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks. [ANDRES LEIVA | Times]
  5. Officially official: Malik Zaire, Jake Fruhmorgen join Florida Gators


    It's finally, officially official: Malik Zaire has joined the Florida Gators.