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Larry Smith and wife Elaine

Larry Smith is an American success story.  Larry grew up poor – very poor – in a suburb of Boston, and got his break through in the game of basketball.  Because of his basketball talents, he was afforded the opportunity to attend college at Suffolk University in Boston. 


There at Suffolk, he excelled on the court to the point where he was eventually invited to a tryout with the Boston Celtics and was eventually inducted into the Suffolk University Athletic Hall of Fame.


Because of the game of basketball, Larry was able to further his education, which combined with his incredible work ethic, completely changed his life. 


After he obtained his degree, Larry and his brother, Michael, started their own insurance business in 1962, which later became Nation Safe Drivers.  The company has been an incredible success, and Larry and Michael recently sold the company back to the employees after running the company for 52 years.


Larry Smith is the embodiment of “using the ball”, as he took advantage of his opportunity through basketball, applied the lessons he learned and worked his way out of poverty and ultimately changed his life. 


Because of his wild success, he has changed the lives of his children, grandchildren and generations of his family to come. 


The Larry Smith Award will be given annually to the person who has used their opportunity through basketball to ultimately change their life, has given back and has made a difference in our world. 

Through Small College Basketball, Larry Smith will contribute $5,000 back to a men's basketball player in need at the alma mater of the winner of the Larry Smith Award. 


This is a significant national award, and we encourage you to nominate worthy candidates that have used the game of basketball - and the lessons learned from coaches, teachers and the game itself - to change their life, and ultimately to give back and change the lives of others.

APPLY FOR THE LARRY SMITH AWARD - Nominations due March 1 annually, please click here.

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