High school basketball, football standout Jamari Smith drowns in Alabama lake

MANHATTAN, KS - JANUARY 09:  A general view of a basketball on the floor during a game between the Kansas State Wildcats and West Virginia Mountaineers on January 9, 2019 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas.  (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Smith's death is reportedly being treated as an accidental drowning. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

Jamari Smith, an Alabama high school basketball and football standout and incoming freshman at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, drowned Wednesday afternoon at a Lee County lake, according to He was 18 years old.

Smith graduated from Lee High School earlier this year and was a member of its 2020 Alabama state champion basketball team. Also a football star, Smith signed to play at UAB in February.

The local coroner reported Smith had been swimming with friends in the lake until he became tired and went under. His friends reportedly called 911 when they were unable to find him. His body was soon found underwater in the lake and rushed to a local hospital, where efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

He was reportedly declared dead in the emergency room of East Alabama Medical Center at 6:05 p.m.

Smith’s high school program later confirmed his death and requested prayers for his family.

The incident is being treated as an accidental drowning by authorities with no foul play suspected.

Smith’s high school team has faced tragedy before, one former player was shot and killed in 2018 while another died in a car accident in 2016.

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