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Dauster: Blazers G Nolan Smith Is Mentor For Duke G Quinn Cook

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Rob Dauster of SI.com writes about the brotherly love between Portland Trail Blazers guard Nolan Smith and Duke guard Quinn Cook. Both players lost their fathers when they were children. -------------------------------------- "I met Nolan when I was six years old. We both played in the same AAU program," Cook said. "We were in Memphis, and he just came up to me and was like, 'You're my little brother.' Ever since then, he's taken care of me and just been my brother and my best friend." ... Cook, who is nearly five years younger than Smith, has followed a path that is strikingly similar to the one carved out by big brother. Both grew up in the area surrounding DC. Both spent three years at a basketball powerhouse in Maryland before transferring to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia for their final year of high school. Both played in the DC Assault AAU program and were named McDonald's All-Americans. And now, Cook is following in Smith's footsteps by wearing the No. 2 while playing point guard for the Blue Devils. ... Ted Cook's heart stopped on an operating table. He had been sick for a couple of weeks, but he was still young, just 48 years old when he died. The first person Quinn talked to that night was Smith. They sat, crying, on the phone together for hours. -------------------------------------- Smith lost his father when he was eight. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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