BUFFALO, NY - UB's Ikenna Smart spent part of his summer break unlike most college kids. Instead of hanging out at the beach or by a pool, Smart was in Nigeria visiting his family he hadn't seen in six years.
And while this was a vacation of some sorts for Smart, the trip was about more than a family reunion. He went to give back to kids in his home country.
He spent the last few years collecting basketball shoes from his friends and teammates to give to kids who can't get those kind of kicks.
"Me taking all those shoes back and giving them to the kids is just to encourage them to keep playing and keep pursuing their dreams," Smart said.
He came to America when he was just 16 and it's all because of basketball. He lived with a host family in North Carolina, played high school hoops and then committed to UB.
Smart's next goal is to bring even more shoes to the kids and even collect women's shoes for the girls who came to the clinic he visited.