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Torrey Smith Hosts Charity Basketball Game


Torrey Smith is staying busy this offseason.

The Ravens receiver held his third-annual charity basketball game Saturday at his alma mater, Stafford Senior High School in Fredericksburg, Va.

Tickets to the game cost $10, and proceeds from the event benefitted the Torrey Smith Foundation. Smith's foundation aims to provide physical, educational and financial programs for at-risk youth affected by domestic violence.  

"It was fun. I think everyone enjoyed it," Smith said. "There were a lot of smiling faces, a bunch of family members bonding. It's just about bringing people into the community and bringing the community together."

The basketball game also brought together players from the Ravens and Redskins, as well as former local stars currently in the NFL. More than 2,000 people attended the game, which sold out in just a couple of days.

Current Ravens Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Vonta Leach, Tyrod Taylor, Bryan Hall, Damien Berry, LaQuan Williams and D.J. Bryant all participated in the event. Also, recently-traded receiver Anquan Boldin came back into town to be part of it.

The Redskins' contingency included Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan and Brandon Banks. Browns cornerback Joe Haden and 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, both former prep stars from the area, came into town to participate.

"I'm thankful for all of the guys coming out and all the support we've gotten from the community," Smith said. "It means a lot, especially when they're traveling up here. I'm thankful for all of the guys. Joe could have been laid up in Jersey, but he came down with his wife. Ray, Vonta, Anquan, everyone, they all came into town and I appreciate them for it."

The game itself – which was billed as a Ravens vs. Redskins showdown – was a lighthearted competition that had the feel of an all-star game. There were plenty of high-flying dunks and big plays to keep the crowd entertained throughout the afternoon.

The Ravens ended up winning 98-79.

"It's very exciting to see how far Torrey and his family have come in these few months," said Smith's agent Drew Rosenhaus, who was the event's emcee. "From the tragic death of his brother, Tevin, to see everyone here on a joyous occasion, celebrating a world championship, celebrating community, charity, giving back, it's just a great feeling. This is what it's all about."

Before the game started, Smith took the microphone and delivered some words of encouragement to the kids in attendance.

"You can do whatever it is you put your mind to," he said. "Don't let anything ever tell you differently. If I can make it to the league from here, you can do far greater things."

In between halves and even during some of the timeouts, the players mingled with fans, snapped photos and signed autographs. There was a full autograph session after the game, with most of the players signing hundreds and autographs and posing for photos.

"It's a good event and with what Torrey is doing in the community, a lot of guys came up here and supported him with his foundation and the efforts he makes in this area," Leach said. "You always want to come support your teammates."

The event has grown in recent years, as Smith has developed into one of the top young receivers in the game. They will likely have to move venues next year to accommodate the increased demand, but that's a problem Smith is happy to have.

"It gets better and better every year," he said. "Having a game like this where people can look forward to it every year is something that I'm proud of and we're trying to building on it."

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