Since leaving the Ravens as a free agent after the 2014 season, wide receiver Torrey Smith has been on three teams in four years with his latest change coming earlier this month when the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles traded him to the Carolina Panthers.
When it comes to his annual charity basketball game, Smith says it has found a home in Baltimore and that’s where he’d like it to stay.
“The reason why we keep this basketball game here is the height of our efforts is right here in the city,” the two-time Super Bowl champion said before the seventh annual Torrey Smith Family Fund Charity Basketball Game on Saturday night at Royal Farms Arena. “Obviously, it’s a fundraiser and it’s huge for us in that way. But it’s a great way for the community to get together and watch some of their favorite athletes.”
Proceeds from Saturday night’s game benefits Smith’s family fund, which provides youth with the tools they need to identify, unleash and reach their full potential. At halftime, Smith awarded four college scholarships in the memory of his late brother, Tevin Jones.
“It means the world. Obviously, I know the importance of being in this position and having this platform,” Smith said. “I just want to make sure I continue to do my part. I want everybody to be involved in this. That’s what I continue to work toward.”
Numerous NFL players and local celebrities turned out to support Smith, 29, in an event that turns annually into a reunion for the 2012 Ravens team that won Super Bowl XLVII. Joining Smith were four other members of that team: current Cleveland Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor and wide receivers Anquan Boldin, Jacoby Jones and LaQuan Williams.
“We’re linked together in this city because of what we did on the field,” Smith said. “Our commitment to the city hasn’t changed. For them to come back, it’s almost like a reunion that way. To be able to play in front of all these fans here, it means the world. When I’m done, this will be home for us. “
Taylor and Boldin, two of Smith’s closest friends, have become regulars at the event.
“There’s always a special place in our heart for Baltimore,” said Taylor, who was recently traded to the Browns and anointed their starter in 2018. “Ultimately, it’s where our professional career started. Anytime you can come back and give back to the community that initially welcomed us in is definitely special.”
Said Boldin: “It’s always cool coming back here, not only seeing the guys, but seeing the fans. It’s always cool to come back. Anytime [Smith] has something, I come out and support him and vice versa.”
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The list of current Ravens who attended included linebackers Kamalei Correa, Matthew Judon, Za’Darius Smith and Patrick Onwuasor, and defensive lineman Willie Henry.