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Butler students and fans remember Andrew Smith

Posted at 6:32 PM, Jan 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-16 18:32:54-05

INDIANAPOLIS  -- He may be gone, but former Butler basketball player Andrew Smith will never be forgotten. 

The former Academic All-American helped put Butler University in the national spotlight when the team reached the NCAA Championship Game twice. 

In the wake of his death, the Bulldogs have found a special way to pay tribute to him for the rest of the season, and they showed it off for the first time Saturday. 

Saturday's game was not just another match-up, it was to honor the life and legacy of Smith. 

"He was a real leader for this school," Matthew Seqman said. 

"Strong faith and all heart," added John Stewart. 

Smith died Tuesday following his second battle with cancer. 

RELATED | Andrew Smith dies following battle with cancer

He was 25. 

Before tip-off, a video highlighting Andrew played on the big screen. The Bulldogs sported a new patch on their jersey to celebrate Andrew.

And it didn't go unnoticed. 

"I think it is really special that we can all come together as a student body and like really celebrate somebody who did a lot for the program," Laurel Mikalouski said. 

But perhaps the most emotional part of the game came at halftime, when Andrew's wife, Samantha, spoke to the crowd. 

"We were supposed to be here together. And I'm not here because it's easy, it's really hard, but I'm here because it was important to him to know that you all knew how thankful we were for you guys, are for you guys. Not just thank you for today, I'll get to that, but thank you for the past two years," she said. 

After Butler won, Butler Head Coach Chris Holtmann presented the game ball to Andrew Smith's dad, Curt Smith. 

A celebration of life service is scheduled for Sunday. It is being held at the Traders Point Christian Church in Whitestown. 

The ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m and doors open at 4:00 p.m. 

MORE | Celebration of life service set for Andrew Smith

We will be streaming the service on the RTV6 app. 

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