DETROIT — David “Smokey” Gaines, the previous Harlem Globetrotters and ABA participant who coached at Detroit-Mercy and San Diego State, has died. He was 80.

Gaines died Saturday of most cancers, his household stated. He additionally contracted COVID-19, The Detroit Information reported.

A star guard in highschool, the Detroit native was an All-State choice in 1959 and went on to star at LeMoyne-Owen School in Tennessee. He was a member of the Globetrotters from 1963-67 and likewise performed briefly for the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Affiliation earlier than turning to teaching.

Gaines started teaching as a part-time assistant beneath present ESPN analyst Dick Vitale at Detroit-Mercy in 1973 and took over when Vitale stepped down after the 1976-77 season.

“I am so saddened to simply obtain a name from Darryl Gaines son of David Smokey Gaines that his Dad has simply handed from most cancers,” Vitale wrote on Twitter. “Smokey a Corridor of Fame Harlem Globetrotter was an expensive buddy who performed a significant position in my profession whereas on the College of Detroit. Pls God Might he RIP!”

Vitale shared a number of tweets on Gaines.

Gaines compiled a 47-10 document in two seasons at Detroit-Mercy earlier than taking the job at San Diego State in 1979, turning into the primary Black Division I head coach within the state. His 20 victories within the 1981-82 season marked the primary time this system had reached that plateau since becoming a member of Division I for the 1970-71 season.

In 1984-85, the Aztecs went 23-8, 11-5 within the Western Athletic Convention, gained the convention match and performed within the NCAA Match, and Gaines was named convention coach of the yr. In eight seasons with the Aztecs, he compiled a document of 112-117.

In 2006, Gaines was inducted into the Harlem Globetrotters’ “Legends” Ring, which honors those that have made a serious contribution to the success and growth of the group.

The Related Press contributed to this report.


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