Baltimore Ravens

Current, former Ravens gather to support Torrey Smith's charity basketball game

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is still rehabilitating his surgically repaired left knee, but he couldn't resist putting up a couple of jump shots and he certainly wasn't going to miss a chance to support his former teammate, Torrey Smith.

His broken arm still not 100 percent healed, Ravens running back Justin Forsett also wasn't going to risk a setback in his recovery by playing in a charity basketball game. However, it was important for him to support Smith, whom he called one of the best people he has ever met in the NFL.


Then, there was Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, who had a rare Saturday off before he and the Orioles open their regular season Monday. Jones deemed helping out Smith as the perfect way to spend it.

"I think what Torrey does with the kids and education, it's the root of everything. I think we both harp on that," said Jones, who served as the coach of Smith's winning "red" team, led by Most Valuable Player Aquille Carr (Patterson). "I think what he's doing and his wife [Chanel], it's crazy that he's in San Francisco, but he still does events in Baltimore and still has the support of the city, which is tremendous."


Smith, heading into his second season with the San Francisco 49ers after playing four years with the Ravens, hosted his fifth annual charity basketball game Saturday afternoon at Royal Farms Arena in downtown Baltimore. All proceeds for the event benefited the Torrey Smith Foundation, which provides for at-risk youth.

The 27-year-old receiver, who grew up in Virginia and played his college football at Maryland, also awarded four students college scholarships in the name of his late brother, Tevin Jones.

"One thing I take a lot of pride in and I said that when I left, I didn't want to be a guy that is committed to the city when you are there, and then when you leave, you forget about it," Smith said. "Baltimore is home for us now. To have a fun event like this and also raise money for the foundation, which gives back to kids in the city, is a blessing."

The game filled up much of the lower level of the arena, and attracted a number of Smith's former teammates. Current Ravens Terrance West (Towson University, Northwestern High) and Sam Koch played, as did former Ravens Anquan Boldin, Qadry Ismail, LaQuan Williams (Maryland, Poly), Brandon Copeland (Gilman), Bryan Hall, Donte' Stallworth and Brynden Trawick.

Other current and former Ravens, such as Flacco, Forsett, Michael Campanaro (River Hill), Lardarius Webb, Jeremy Butler and Jameel McClain, also attended but didn't play.

"It's important to be here because of Torrey. He's just an awesome guy," Flacco said. "What he did for this community and what he continues to do — he comes back here a ton — I love Torrey to death.

"He'll always be a part of what I consider Baltimore because we had such a great run together."

Flacco, who had surgery to repair ACL and MCL tears in December, said he's getting better and better, and is still hoping to be ready for the start of training camp in July.


"I can tell each week. Toward the end of the week, I'm feeling sore and I'm hurting. And by next Monday, I'm feeling better than I did the last week," Flacco said.

Flacco spoke excitedly about the additions of tight end Benjamin Watson and wide receiver Mike Wallace, and said that he expects Wallace to have a "big impact."

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Forsett, who will have another round of X-rays over the next couple of days, also praised the work general manager Ozzie Newsome has done to improve the team's roster this offseason.

"The Wizard has done a great job making some great pickups for us during free agency," Forsett said. "I definitely think that Ben is going to be a great leader for us on and off the field. Mike Wallace, I'm excited about. Anytime you get another defender out of the box for me, I love that."

West, meanwhile, said he has lost 13 pounds and he is lighter than he was for much of his accomplished college career. He said that his goal is to challenge Forsett for the Ravens' starting running back job.

But the man of the hour was Smith, who will return to the Bay Area on Monday and accelerate preparations for the 2016 season. His first year with the 49ers was a major disappointment as he had just 33 catches for 663 yards and four touchdowns. The 49ers have a new coach in Chip Kelly, but significant questions at quarterback.


"I'm very motivated," Smith said. "There was a lot of reasons why my season didn't go the way I wanted. I'm really just focused on trying to be the best player I can be now. I feel better than I ever have and I've been working my tail off. I'm starting the offseason off the right way."