Father Opens Up About Sudden Loss Of Daughter During Basketball Practice

SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- The father of a Springdale student, who died suddenly during basketball practice this week, spoke about his daughter with 5NEWS Friday (Nov. 18).

Adia Smith, 13, played on the ninth grade basketball team at Lakeside Junior High in Springdale. She collapsed during practice Tuesday morning (Nov. 15) and died.

“It’s sad and it hurts, but at the same time God knows what he’s doing and so much good is coming of it,” Jessie Smith, Adia's father, said.

Smith said his daughter was the best of him and his wife, and she was a fierce protector of her brothers and sisters.

“My baby loved and I didn’t know how to love like I know how to love now and she taught me how to love,” he said.

Smith said they still don’t know exactly what caused Adia’s death, but they suspect it had to do with her heart. He also said they find comfort in knowing that she is in a better place and they know they will see her again.

“Leaning on family and friends and we’ve been receiving so much support from the community,” he said. "It’s just a blessing, every little bit helps."

Smith said their family has enjoyed seeing Adia’s teammates share memories on Facebook and the Smith’s said they will continue to root on the team.

“When something like this happens, you want to see and know everybody that knows anything about your baby because that’s a part of your baby and you want to be a part of that,” he said.

Adia’s funeral will be held Monday, Nov. 21 at Christian Life Cathedral in Fayetteville at 11 a.m. A GoFundMe has been setup to help the family with the expenses.