Russ Smith agreed to escort a Manual girls basketball player during homecoming festivities Friday night, after that girl's date didn't show up.
Smith was there to support a friend who is an assistant coach on the Eastern High School boys' basketball team. Eastern played at Manual Friday night.
Tonysha Curry, a freshman on the Manual girls basketball team, waited and waited for her date to arrive. He never did. Curry and her friends noticed the Louisville star sitting court-side, and Curry got up the nerve to go and ask Smith to step in as her homecoming escort.
"I had an escort, and he had won the homecoming for king. But he hadn't been coming to the practices. So, he didn't come to the game apparently," Curry said. "I was like, ‘There's Russ Smith. Oh my God. What if he escorted me?' Everybody was like, ‘Go do it! Go do it!'"
So Curry did. Russ Smith's response?
"Can I do that?"
"I was like, ‘Yeah, you can! You can,'" urged Curry to Smith.
"I didn't know," said Smith, when recalling being asked to take part in the homecoming festivities. "It just all happened too fast. She said, ‘Please, it would really make my day, make my night.' It actually made my day probably more than hers. I'm kind of really happy about it."
Let's recap: Freshman girl in high school gets ditched by the homecoming king. The leading scorer on the NCAA college basketball national championship team takes his place. Yet it made Russ Smith's day more than Tonysha Curry's? Russdiculous, please explain.
"It just never happens. It's something that's one in a million," replied Smith. "You just have to live in the moment. It may not ever happen to me again. That made my day."
"I could not breathe," said Curry recalling the moment, when she took Smith's arm and walked to half-court. "I was almost in tears crying. We even had conversations. We were talking to each other."
Smith was a finalist for Louisville's 2013 Homecoming King, but he was beaten out by teammate and Final Four Most Outstanding Player Luke Hancock. No matter. Curry got her man.
"Oh my God. Best day of my life."
Kudos to Smith for giving Curry a memory that will last a lifetime.