David ’85 and Yvette “Pebbles” ’85 Smith are passionate about Radford University and basketball. Both were standout players for the Highlanders and scholarship recipients during their time at Radford University. Now, they are courtside season ticket holders and generous members of the Radford Athletics Club.
During the 2015-2016 Radford Athletics Club fund drive, 451 Radford University Athletics supporters gave more than $863,000 in gifts and new pledges.
“We are so thankful to our Radford Athletics Club members for their contributions to our athletics fund. Donations to Highlander Athletics truly make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes by enhancing support of scholarships, academic services, recruiting and travel budgets, and facilities. Private donations enable the athletics program to continue to put our coaches and student-athletes in a position to have tremendous success on and off the courts and fields of play. As we look to the future, this support will be even more critical as the costs of scholarships and operating expenses continue to rise,” said Director of Athletics Robert Lineburg.
David, a Radford University Athletics Hall of Fame member in basketball, said being an athletics contributor is his way to give back for all of the opportunities he had at Radford. “For me, someone supported us and felt that it was important for us to have a college experience and a college athletic experience. I came from modest beginnings, and so did a lot of my teammates. We were given a scholarship, and I feel a responsibility to participate and give back,” said David.
He said that prior to attending college, he never thought that he would have the opportunity to complete an undergraduate and graduate degree in six years while playing Division I athletics. He remembers being a freshman and being a part of the first team to play in the Dedmon Center when it opened its doors. “That really stepped up recruiting and enhanced Radford’s image in athletics!” said David.
He said he is even more thankful for the opportunity to meet his future wife Pebbles and make friendships that have lasted through the decades. “My teammate Mike Burton lives in Narrows (Va.) and his daughter Savannah Burton was a volleyball player who graduated last year. I liked to come to campus to watch her with Mike,”
The Smiths live in Roanoke and take every opportunity to enjoy basketball games on their home court. “I don’t lose sight that I’m close enough to be involved. Being a fan and contributor are our ways that we say thank you. We think it’s the right thing to do.”