(WVLT) - Billy Smith, father of Tennessee basketball transfer Tyler Smith, died late Wednesday night after an extended bout with lung cancer.
The sophomore called coach Bruce Pearl late Wednesday to notify him of his father's passing.
Smith, a forward, transferred to UT from the University of Iowa during the offseason. Transfers typically must sit out a season, but the NCAA granted Smith a hardship allowance that will permit him to play this season due to his father's illness.
He was hoping his father could see him play in Thompson-Boling Arena.
Smith averaged 14.9 points per game as a freshman for the Hawkeyes, earning third-team All-Big Ten honors. He is expected to be a key contributor to the Vols this season.