Getty Images / Michael Hickey

Andrew Smith

Former Butler University star center Andrew Smith, one of the main players on two teams that went to the national championship game, died Tuesday of cancer, according to ESPN. He was 25.

His wife, Samantha, confirmed his death via Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

"Andrew peacefully passed away in his sleep and in my arms as I told him I loved him this morning. Love you always, Smith."

The 6-foot-11 Smith started as a sophomore on the 2011 Butler team and averaged 8.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He played two more seasons at Butler, then went to Lithuania to play professionally. He came back home to Indiana in 2013 and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in January 2014.

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Smith's former college coach, Brad Stevens, who is now the head coach of the Boston Celtics, did not coach his team's game last Thursday against Chicago. He went to visit Smith in the hospital in Indianapolis.

Smith starred at Covenant Christian High School in Indiana but wasn't recruited by many programs. He was one of three players in Butler school history to score more than 1,000 points and win more than 100 games.

"The Butler community is profoundly sad today with the news of Andrew's passing," the school said in a statement. "We saw the way Andrew fought on the basketball court, and we saw the way he fought for his health. In both cases, we saw the best of Andrew Smith. But that's what we always saw from Andrew. He gave his all, all the time."

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