WASHINGTON, DC – In conjunction with the University of the District of Columbia's homecoming festivities, the Athletic Department will host UDC alum Charles "Choo" Smith's Harlem Globetrotter jersey dedication and a homecoming reception on Wednesday, November 19th at UDC Gym.
Following the UDC Homecoming Pep Rally at 4 p.m. in the Dennard Plaza, Athletics will host a reception in the Sports Complex for all alumni, parents and Firebird Forever members. The reception will continue through the UDC women's and men's basketball games at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, leading up to the Smith jersey dedication at halftime of the men's game.
Smith is a 1998 UDC alum who played point guard for legendary head coach Wil Jones and graduated with a degree in Computer Science. In his first season at UDC, he helped the Firebirds go seven games over .500 for the first time in 10 years. He went on to have an exceptional career at UDC, finishing as the school's all-time leader in steals and assists. Along the way, he accumulated several awards including: Team Most Valuable Player, The Pigskin Classic Award (for the best player in the region) and the UDC Reslyn W. Henley Memorial Award.
Upon graduation, Smith caught the eye of a representative from the world-renowned Original Harlem Globetrotters and signed a contract to join the team. He became a high-profile member of the team until 2001 when he sustained what some thought would be a career-ending back injury. He soon recovered and began playing for the Harlem Wizards from 2001-2002 and then overseas in the Euro League with the Vienna Basket Hounds from 2002-2003. Smith has played in all 50 states and in 26 countries. He was recognized as one of the greatest dribblers in the world.
Smith went on to found Choo Smith Youth Empowerment, a non-profit organization that focuses on his "4L" philosophy (Love it, Learn it, Live it, Lead it) and Choo Smith Enterprise, a for-profit corporation. From these organizations, the Choo Smith Summer Basketball Camp was born. This camp became the platform for many initiatives under Choo Smith Youth Empowerment, Inc.