Duke legend Nolan Smith aims to get teen-specific cancer wards built at Duke, UNC

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Friday, August 24, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Nolan Smith. Former ACC Player of the Year. National Champ. N-Dot Smitty. The People's Champ.

There are players more beloved than Nolan Smith in Duke's history, but it's a short list. Now the Director of Basketball Ops for the Blue Devil basketball program, Smith has a packed schedule.

Smith's schedule isn't so packed that he doesn't find time to help others though. Smith's passion project is getting teen-specific cancer wards built at both Duke and UNC Hospitals. It's a $100M project, which is certainly no easy feat. Despite the challenge, Smith is determined.

As an ambassador and fundraiser for Teen Cancer America, he's made it his mission to help teens battling the disease.

There are already wards designed for young children and adults, but Smith wants to fill in the gaps so teens battling cancer can have their own space, attentive to their specific station in life.

Smith frequently visits patients at Duke, hoping to boost their spirits, while having his own bolstered as well.

This weekend's 'Hoop-a-thon' is the second annual. Last year's was held at the Emily K Center in Durham. While it was a success, Nolan is hoping a venue change to the iconic Cameron Indoor Stadium will spur even more interest, and in turn raise more money.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

You can register online at Teen Cancer America's website and make your pledge, or just show up. Walk-ins are more than welcome.

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