There have been rising questions about who Shaka Smart and his parents are. Following a nail-biter against the Kansas Jayhawks, fans are enthusiastic to explore more about their team’s head coach.
Smart put forward a highly enthusiastic and motivated team against the Jayhawks to score a 73-59 win. The Jayhawks were left chasing the Eagles lead throughout the game.
The fans have been applauding their team’s coach, and they have a growing intrigue about Smart and his parents.
Shaka Dingani Smart is an American basketball coach at the collegiate level who is currently serving as the head coach for Marquette University’s men’s team.
Born in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 8, 1977, Smart is a former college basketball player. He started his career as a player as a point guard for the Oregon High School’s basketball team, the Oregon Panthers.
In college, he became a four-year starter, setting school records for assists in a season with 184 assists and a career-high with 542 assists.
Moreover, he was named to the All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) team and NCAC Scholar Athlete of the Year in addition to the 1999 USA Today All-USA Academic team.
Smart’s coaching career started as an assistant coach at California University under Bill Brown in 1999. After spending ten years in different universities, Smart got his first job as a head coach for Virginia Commonwealth University.
After a successful coaching career at the VCU and University of Texas, Marquette University hired Smart as the head coach. This made him the only Black coach in the history of the program.
Shaka Smart Parents: Winston Smart And Monica King
Shaka Smart is the son of parents Winston Smart and Monica King. Smart had a rough childhood, not unlike many immigrant families.
Smart’s father, Winston, was a native of Trinidad. The former point guard recalls an overly critical, problematic, and harsh father who decided to leave the family in the cold winter of 1994.
Moreover, Smart never found the support and care from his father for his love for basketball. On the contrary, Winston was all about academics and wanted his son to focus on education.
Furthermore, it was precisely this why he left his family. When he got in touch with his family years later, he was getting a law degree from Washington University.
Currently, he has three more degrees in addition to the law degree.
Smart always felt the absence of a father figure, which resulted in him searching for a male role model. Fortunately, he found it in his coach at Kenyon College, Bill Brown.
Meanwhile, his mother, Monica King, has been an ever-present figure in the Eagles’ coach’s life. After his father abandoned the family, his mother raised him and his three brothers.
Moreover, the coach opened up, stating he always had a close relationship with his mother, where they could talk about anything.
In addition to that, Monica had a soft-hearted approach to dealing with stress and issues. Unlike his father, Smart stated, his mother would explain things to him through examples and conversations.
Smart is beyond mesmerized by the strength and perseverance of his mother. He is eternally grateful to his mother, who never gave up and gave him a life he could be proud of.
Monica lives within an hour’s drive from the Marquette campus, and their bond remains as strong as ever.
Life Beyond The Court: Experience With Racism
A biracial child growing up in Oregon in the 90s is not an experience most people look forward to. Smart was one of the few people of color attending Oregon High School.
However, while most would have crumbled, Smart chose to flourish. As a high schooler, Smart was involved in multiple multicultural events and seminars that specifically dealt with racism and homophobia.
Moreover, the former athlete was just as good at academia as basketball. Smart is a history graduate focusing on race issues and the Great Migration. Additionally, he is a magna cum laude graduate.
Furthermore, he completed his master’s degree in social science from California University.
The Eagles coach has been vocal about race issues. In the recent tragedy of the death of George Floyd, Smart stated, “It was another tragedy in a long line of terrible violence perpetuated against black people in this country.”
He further went on to comment on the systemic racism that plagued the US. The 46-year-old urged us to take the opportunity to listen to one another, be connected, and work together for the sake of humanity.