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Arizona forward Ray Smith announces retirement from basketball following third ACL injury

Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildca
Arizona forward Ray Smith (24) grimaces as he fall injured to the ground during Arizona’s blow-out 86-35 exhibition win over the College of Idaho at McKale Center on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016.

Arizona redshirt freshman Ray Smith injured his right ACL per Arizona Athletics during Tuesday’s exhibition game against the College of Idaho and officially announced his retirement from basketball Thursday afternoon.

Smith tore his left ACL in 2014 and spent his senior season rehabilitating to return for his freshman season at Arizona. Smith competed in the 2015 Red-Blue Game only to tear his right ACL five days later.

On Tuesday, Smith injured his right ACL for a second time and suffered other ligament damage, according to Arizona Athletics. He will have surgery this month, and enter a third consecutive year of rehab.

Smith will still be involved with the team this season. Head coach Sean Miller has the utmost belief in Smith’s ability to recover and be successful in his other pursuits.

GALLERY: Ray Smith’s time at Arizona was short-lived. Relive the ups and downs of the former four-star recruit’s collegiate career.  

“Ray is surrounded by a community that loves Arizona Basketball, current and former teammates that look at him as a brother, and a coaching staff and family that is beyond supportive and forever with him,” Miller said. “Although the mountain that Ray is climbing continues to change, my belief in him to be a resounding success in life has never been stronger. His intelligence, charisma and sheer will position him to be special in all that he does. I certainly look forward to helping him, as part of our basketball family, reach all of the goals that he sets out to achieve.” 

Smith was a four-star prospect from Las Vegas, Nevada in 2014. He selected Arizona over multiple Pac-12 Conference schools including Oregon, USC, and UCLA.

Follow Christopher Deak on Twitter.

Video courtesy Arizona Athletics YouTube.

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