Josh Smith to Assist Family of Rajaan Bennett

Smith to cover living expenses for family of slain McEachern High School student-athlete

ATLANTA, GA (March 8, 2010) -- Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith is always concerned about things in his local community, and the recent news involving the death of a local Cobb County (GA) athlete really touched his heart.

The unfortunate death of McEachern High School student-athlete Rajaan Bennett rocked many in the state, and last summer Smith had the opportunity to meet the young man while working out at his high school. After hearing the news of his passing, Smith wanted to do whatever he could to assist the Bennett family moving forward.

Understanding that the family is going through very difficult days, Smith will help the Bennett’s with their living expenses for the next six months.

“I was fortunate enough to meet Rajaan last summer and was very impressed with him as a person, student and athlete,” Smith, who grew up in Powder Springs and is a former student at McEachern himself, said. “I can’t imagine what his family is going through, but hopefully this will give them one less thing to worry about as they try to cope with this terrible tragedy.”

Like Smith, Bennett was a star athlete at McEachern, excelling in football and in the classroom. He owned a 3.8 grade point average and had recently signed a letter of intent to play football for Vanderbilt University. He is survived by his mother Narjaketha Bennett, sister Narcharlette and brother Desybon.

The Hawks will recognize the Bennett family during a ceremony with Smith at halftime of the Hawks vs. Pistons game on Saturday, March 13 (7:00 p.m. tipoff).