OUR TRIBUTE: Blair Smith was someone to look up to
NOT long after Blair Smith was appointed as the Port City Power men's head coach ahead of the 2017 season, I knew straight away that people would look up to him.
And it wasn't because of his 200cm frame, which saw him play 283 National Basketball League games.
It was because of his infectious and happy persona.
Win, lose or draw, Blair would always front up for a post-match press conference.
He would tell it like it is and was one of those coaches who would draw positives from any negatives of the match.
He was never difficult to get answers from, even when the Power lost.
Without knowing him that well, I suspect this was an indication of the person he was.
A loving man married to Rebecca and father of two children, Blair took on the role as interim coach during the final matches of the 2016 season after then-coach Brian Waters' sudden departure.
Blair took to the role with aplomb and committed to it full-time in 2017.
While the Power didn't make the play-offs, Blair helped with the development of the likes of young guns Botond Hajos, Mitchell Knight, Tyler Allen and Lachlan Wilmot, among others.
His communicative skills as a school teacher assisted him in his role as a coach and mentor.
Blair was also there at most Thursday night junior matches.
He didn't have to be, because of where the family lives, some 90-minutes from Kev Broome Stadium.
But he was there, because of the person he was.
It was typical of Blair and people were fortunate to know him.