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ESPN’s Marty Smith Speaks at Roanoke Valley Sports Club

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 11:53 PM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) -Giles native Marty Smith has gone from playing football at Giles High School to newspaper jobs in Lynchburg and Roanoke to NASCAR.com and now ESPN as a college football and basketball reporter. Monday night, he detailed his journey in sports media and shared some words of wisdom at the Roanoke Valley Sports Club meeting at the Salem Civic Center. Smith’s first ever visit to the Roanoke Valley Sports Club brought a simple yet poignant message.

“If you work hard and you are kind to other people,” he said, “and nothing is good enough, good enough ain’t ever good enough, you can be whatever you want to be. I don’t care if you’re from Buchanan. I don’t care if you’re from Pembroke. I don’t care if you’re from Newport. It don’t matter. There is no barrier. "

Marty spun tales about his interactions with sports royalty, including PGA Tour pro Tony Finau, and Alabama football coach Nick Saban, as well as a Special Olympics athlete that touched his heart. By the end of the night, he had touched someone else’s, offering a year scholarship to fellow Giles High School grad Ty Lowery who will be a freshman at Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista.

“I partnered with my producer and one of his brothers who have a charity called Tomorrow’s Team,” he continued. “And we made the decision that we are going to help people. Ty Lowery is a beacon in the world. I knew that his little brother, Cam, has Down’s Syndrome and I have been told by everyone involved what an unbelievable big brother he is to Cam. So I asked him tonight after the scholarship stuff happened, ‘what is your relationship with Cam?’ He started to get emotional and he said, ‘I feel like God put me here to take care of him.‘ That’s all you need to know.”

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