'I've been terrified': Samantha Smith announces new marriage, pregnancy

The widow of former Butler basketball player Andrew Smith is newly married and pregnant.

Samantha Smith made the announcement Friday on social media. Her husband is Nick Michael, and she signed her blog post as Samantha Smith-Michael.

Smith, who was an Academic All-American for the Bulldogs, died Jan. 12, 2016, after a two-year fight against cancer. He was 25.

Samantha has been active in promoting Smith’s legacy through Project 44, named in honor of Smith’s jersey No. 44. Butler University is a partner in the initiative, which raises awareness for the national bone marrow registry.

During Smith’s cancer battle, Samantha regularly provided social media updates on his condition and their shared journey.

Samantha Smith on her dark year without Andrew: ‘There is no manual’ 

Andrew’s legacy lives on: A Butler teammate saved a boy’s life

“Holy mic drop, right?” Samanta wrote on her blog. “In my years of sharing my heart, my journey, and the ups and downs of life, I’ve never shied away from doing so with raw authenticity. It’s why so many of you have supported me and reached out over the years; you have been able to identify with the honest gamut of emotions I’ve felt or walked through.

“So hear me when I say, though I am truly overjoyed to share this news, I’ve been terrified. Not because I’m ashamed, but simply because I love Andrew so much, and I know how many of you love Andrew, too. I was never sure if my heart could handle that love being under attack or questioned. I was never sure if I could take someone seeing me happy again and think, ‘She must not have loved Andrew like we all thought she did.’ The thought of that absolutely destroys me. So I’ve been quiet. I’ve been anxious.”

Samantha wrote that she has been protective of the legacy of Smith and relationship with her new husband. She said she slipped in and out of depression.

“I met Nick in those days — at the lowest point in my life,” she wrote. “I was in no way, shape, or form looking. We were quick friends who grew into best friends. We fell in love through hard conversations, endless patience with one another, and more grace than I thought possible.

“I always knew if there was ever going to be someone after Andrew, he’d have to be pretty special. He’d have to be patient and kind. He’d have to be okay with forever sharing me and my most precious days. He’d have to love and respect a man that he never met.  He would have to be understanding and compassionate. Nick is exactly that special man. He knew what loving me meant from the beginning and chose to do it all anyway.”

Email IndyStar reporter David Woods at david.woods@indystar.com or call (317) 444-6195. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidWoods007.

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