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How a former coach is giving back to Memphis' youth

As a high school and college coach, Will Smith taught athletes to lean on intuition, creativity and consistency. He's teaching today's students the same.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One former basketball coach and player is making major food donations to schools and a student basketball camp even during a major inflation.

The man behind Sauced, a wing restaurant in Southaven, is not only serving customers, but Memphis student-athletes. 

“I like to support the education, the academics part and all that," said Will Smith. "People love athletics. It did a lot for me, but academics is so serious and it’s not only for that time, but it teaches you for the rest of your life.”

Smith played basketball at Hamilton High School and then played as a starting guard at the University of Colorado. 

As a high school and college coach, he taught athletes to lean on intuition, creativity and consistency.

“Do one thing better every day," he said. "It's very simple. You can be two years old, you can be 99."

He’s teaching the same life skills as an entrepreneur and philanthropist.  

Smith’s passion is supporting kids in school and athletics, providing 500 free wings at Penny Hardaway's camp Tuesday.  

The former coach is also donating to HBCUs, area schools and teacher meals.

“I like to tell the teachers thank you to the ones who get out there and push themselves and go home and think of ways and ideas to enrich the kids," he said. 

Smith is dedicated to giving back, despite soaring food costs and inflation.

RELATED: 'It's stressful' | How Mid-South seniors can deal with rising costs while on a fixed income

“Inflation of prices is really crazy, at first everybody knew the chicken was hot,” he said.

Smith said consistency is rewarding.

“It’s not always based on what you have, you know? You will continue to be blessed if you do it the right way," he said.

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