Paralyzed Southern Miss Football Player Gets Degree, Will Join Team For Bowl Trip

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Southern Miss LB Martez Smith, Paralyzed Since Shooting, Gets His Diploma

Some cheerful news to follow up on a horrible story: Southern Miss linebacker Martez Smith, one of three players shot outside a nightclub in Hattiesburg in mid-November, received his college diploma over the weekend. Paralyzed form the waist down since the incident, Smith was wheeled across the stage to a standing ovation:

"Nothing in the world could stop me from being there to get my diploma," Smith said Thursday. "That's been one of my goals for a long, long time."

Football is not currently an option for Smith, but he's still very much a part of the team, and will be traveling with the Golden Eagles to watch them take on Louisville in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl:

"I'd be at that game if I had to roll myself all the way down there," Smith said, smiling.

A reporter mentioned that it's a 726-mile trip, shortest route.

"Then, I'll need to get an early start," Smith said.

Smith and teammates Deddrick Jones and Tim Green, were all shot during a scuffle outside Remington's Hunt Club on November 13. Five days later, a man named Travis Brown was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault. As of last week, he's still cooling his heels in jail, along with five other suspects arrested in connection with the incident.

All three players have since been discharged from the hospital. Green can't speak after being shot in the throat, but Fedora says he expects he'll be able to play again, as will Jones.

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Southern Miss Shooting: One Player Reportedly Paralyzed, Gunman Identified

Friend of the program and Southern Miss alum Matt Hinton has updates on the conditions of the three Golden Eagles football players shot Saturday night outside a Hattiesburg bar. Senior linebacker Martez Smith reportedly suffered a severed spinal cord, and local media outlets report he's paralyzed from the waist down. Junior linebacker Tim Green, reported to have sustained a throat wound that damaged his vocal cords. is currently unable to speak. Junior defensive lineman Deddrick Jones apparently sustained the least severe injuries of the trio, and is recovering from a Sunday operation to extract a bullet from his lung.

Local NBC affiliate WDAM is reporting the arrest of two suspects in connection with the shooting, as well as the identification of the shooter, still at large:

HPD officials say they know the identity of the shooter who is now charged with three counts of aggravated assault. Travis Brown of Prentiss, they say, is not yet in custody. He is a black male, six feet in height weighing 185 pounds.
[...]
Police said anyone who aids Brown will also be charged.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for more updates as news becomes available.

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