Charles Smith has announced his retirement at the age of 40, ending his long and distinguished career in British game.

In a phenomenally successful 14 years, Smith established himself as a legend with Newcastle Eagles across three different stints on Tyneside. Largely because of the numbers he put up, his game-changing abilities, incredible 21 winners medals, 11 runners-up places and also his swashbuckling style.

“I’m not leaving because I can’t do it anymore, I’m leaving because my mind is telling me it’s time, and I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter in my life,” he said.

“It has been an honour to meet so many great people and to see so many beautiful places that without basketball wouldn’t have been possible and I feel truly blessed to have had so many great experiences.”

His longevity was remarkable, winning MVPs as his fifth decade approached. His talent was considerable, a key piece in Newcastle’s rise to the top of the sport.

Eagles’ head coach Fab Flournoy paid his own tribute to a player he coached, and a team-mate he played alongside.

“Words are not enough to describe the levels, the depths and the impact that Charles Smith has made in the game,” said Flournoy.

“Quite simply Charles Smith is the greatest scorer that I have ever played with! He is one of the greats in British Basketball. The way Charles played on court made you wonder how his performance was possible, it was unbelievable. It was amazing to see – just legendary.

“I was very fortunate to be his coach and to have the honour to play with him. Charles is a once in a generation player. His achievements will speak for themselves in the years to come – the story of how ‘Prince Charles’ graced our city with unprecedented success and trophies.”

Photo: Mansoor Ahmed

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