In the early 1990s, Stevin Smith was a promising basketball star who came through the NCAA tournament. He had his eyes on the NBA Draft, which he was sure he was going to make. But the high-profile star has kept a secret throughout his career as a college player. The first episode of Netflix’s “Bad Sport” docuseries titled “Hoop Schemes” tells the fascinating but ultimately tragic story of Stevin, nicknamed “Hedake”. So, let’s find out what happened to him since then, will you?
Who is Stevin “Hedake” Smith?
Stevin grew up in Texas and is the only son of Eunice Smith. His father left the family when Stevin was relatively young, and it was Eunice who raised him. In 1990, he was one of the best playmakers in the country to make the leap to college. Stevin was in high demand and chose to go to Arizona State University to play as the Sun Devil. He played there from 1991 to 1994 and ended his career there as the all-time top scorer in ASU history.
But Stevin’s brilliant college stint was marred by a debilitating scandal that rocked the college football world, irrevocably affecting many lives, including his own. Stevin started gambling and lost quite a bit of money – almost $ 10,000. Benny, the booker Stevin had known from college, then told him about a way to pay off his debt. Stevin didn’t have to lose any games. All he had to do was win, but by a smaller margin. When Stevin did that, he would get paid.
The first game was played in January 1994 during the ASU game against the State of Oregon. Since ASU was heavily favored to win the game, bettors would win money on the winning underdog or if it was a close game. Stevin and ASU were to win by 6 points or less. After a crazy first half where Stevin scored a streak of goals, the game ended with the line the bookies wanted. Stevin was paid $ 20,000. He said, “I took the money, but I gave everything I had on the pitch that night.
Stevin got hooked after that. He continued to score points in the next three games. Stevin also signed one of his teammates, Isaac Burton, for some of the games. With the money he earned, Stevin bought extravagant things like jewelry, a car, and clothes. When the ASU game against Washington took place in March 1994, Stevin had $ 40,000 in it. They had to win by 11 points or less. But word of Stevin’s shaving points had spread, leading several people to place bets. The unusual betting patterns led the authorities to be alerted and thus opened an investigation into a possible point reduction scandal.
Soon the college season was over and Stevin was eager to be drafted into the NBA. But he was not chosen by any of the teams. He believed that suspicion about his involvement in the scandal was hurting his chances. Instead, Stevin plied his trade in various leagues around the world. In 1997, the FBI came knocking on his door and he finally cooperated with them. He admitted to having shaved points and said he felt relieved to finally tell the truth.
Where is Stevin “Hedake” Smith now?
Stevin pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit acts of sports corruption, and in 1999 he was sentenced to approximately one year in prison and three years probation. Stevin apologized for his choices and said he was embarrassed by the decisions he made. He later said he had to “accept that I had ruined my future for less money than I would have earned my first week” in the NBA. Eventually, he decided to reach out to other children in order to prevent them from making similar mistakes.
Stevin has worked with the non-profit organization NOW (No Wasted Opportunity) since 2005 to help guide underprivileged children. The NCAA also asked him to speak to various colleges about the dangers of the game. He said, “I want to reach out to the next generation, get into their heads. It’s so easy to get carried away by greed for what kids think is easy money. As of 2020, he was also working as an assistant coach at Mountain View Community College. Stevin has since married and is the father of three grown daughters. He lives in Dallas, Texas.
Read more: Where are Isaac Burton, Benny Silman and Joe Gagliano now?