Meet Choo Smith

Choo Smith Youth Empowerment

A non-profit organization which focuses on the personal development of youth.

Founder and Chairman

Charles Choo Smith

Charles “Choo” Smith, Jr. affectionately known as “Choo” was born to Brenda and Charles H. Smith Sr. on November 30,1970 in West Baltimore.

Choo is a graduate of the prestigious City College High School and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from his beloved University of the District of Columbia (UDC).

Choo attended Bowie State University in Maryland where he was the starting Point Guard position for the Bowie Bulldogs and after his first year was recruited by Mr. Will Jones, head coach of the UDC, Firebirds where he quickly earned the starting point guard position. As the leader of the team, the Firebirds went seven games over .500 for the first time in 10 years. Choo was honored for his exceptional basketball skills and finished his college career as the school’s all-time leader in Steals and Assists. During this time Choo was voted MVP of the team, he won The Pigskin Classic Award as the “Best Player” in the region and the Reslyn W. Henry Memorial Award. Charles “Choo” Smith graduated from the University of the District of Columbia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science. Choo was inducted into the University of District of Columbia Athletic Hall of Fame in November 2015.

Charles Choo Smith

After college Choo was invited to the New York Knick Rookie Free Agent Training Camp. Choo outworked everyone to become in contention for a spot on the NY Knicks roster. Unfortunately the NBA Lockout took place and he did not get an opportunity to play for the Knicks. All was not lost, unbenounced to Choo he was on the radar of the Harlem Globetrotters. Choo ultimately obtained his goal of playing basketball on the professional level by accepting a contract to play for the world-renowned Original Harlem Globetrotters. It is playing for the Harlem Globetrotters where he became a high-profile member of the team and was considered one of the best dribblers of all time. As a member of the Globetrotters, he served as an Advance Ambassador. Choo has played in all 50 States, in 26 countries.Choo carries the spirit of the Harlem Globetrotters in everything he does.

Upon retiring from the Harlem Globetrotters, Choo founded the non-profit organization Choo Smith Youth Empowerment, Inc which received it’s 501c3 designation in 2007. Choo Smith Youth Empowerment, Inc.focuses on Choo’s “4L” philosophy: “Love it, Learn it, Live it, Lead it.” It is from this organization that the Choo Smith Summer Basketball Camp was born and became the platform for many other initiatives under Choo Smith Youth Empowerment, Inc.

Choo’s ability to reach the youth is uncanny. He has the unique ability to reach youth on all levels; racial,  socioeconomic background or gender and can generate results without compromising any of his beliefs. Choo is a man of ethics and his faith in Christ is applied in every aspect of his life. Over the years Choo has been featured on both local and national levels and in all media outlets (print, radio, and TV). Choo has appeared on all major television networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and Univision) and appeared on Good Fellas of Baltimore, a Fox reality show, and the new ABC Reality show “Ball Boys.”

As a humanitarian, Charles “Choo” Smith has and continues to touch the lives of youth throughout Maryland and across the world. In the Summer of 2018 Choo became the Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Young 3 organization with retired NBA legend Jerome Williams. The Young 3 is the youth and community arm of the Big 3 Professional Basketball League founded by legendary rapper Ice Cube.

Choo has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work and service in the community with children and youth. Some of these awards and recognitions include:

  • Requested to bring the Choo Smith Basketball Camp to the military bases throughout the US.
  • Received the 2011 Presidential Volunteer Services Award
  • Recipient of the 2012 Top 100 MBE Prestige Award
  • Named Celebrity Spokesperson for International Rett Syndrome Foundation beginning in 2013.
  • Current Education and Player Development Coordinator for Maryland District Amateur Athletic Association (2013 to present)
  • Received the Community Hero Award from Dunkin Donuts (December,2013)
  • Jersey Dedication Ceremony- Choo donated his official Harlem Globetrotter Jersey to his Alma Mater University of the District of Columbia (November 19, 2014) and Baltimore City College High School (2018)
  • Inducted in the Class of 2015 University of the District of Columbia Athletic Hall of Fame
  • 2015 William Donald Schaffer Helping Others Award presented by the State of Maryland Comptroller
  • 2015 Inspiring Voices Award recipient presented by Community Law in Action organization
  • 2015 Selected as one of the Spokespersons for Shooting for Peace
  • One of the faces of the 2015-2017 and 2017-2019 Visit Baltimore Campaign
  • Appointed to the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) Task Force 2016
  • National Basketball Retired Players Association Activities
    • Appointed to the NBRPA’S Governors Committee (2016)
    • 2017-2018 NBRPA President Search Committee (2016)
  • Appointed as the VP for the Retired Harlem Globetrotters Association
  • The 2016 Key Influencer Award and selected to fly with the Blue Angels
  • Awarded twenty plus acres of land in Baltimore City – The Choo Smith aRise Baltimore CommuniVersity is a mixed used $120M project development will be completed in 2026. The Choo Smith CommuniVersity will be designed in a manner that will give the look and feel of a college campus. The ComuniVersity will give the visitor a feeling of exclusivity, community, fun and serenity.
  • Recognized as one of the 2022 Fox 45 “Champions of Courage” Award
  • Voted in as the Chairman of the Board for the National Basketball Retired Players Association in 2023 to Present


Outside of his professional endeavors, Choo is a proud father of three children: Ayanna, CJ, and Layla. As a native Baltimorean, Choo’s love for his city and community has driven him to make a positive impact.

Charles “Choo” Smith Jr.’s basketball success, leadership, and dedication to youth and community empowerment have left an indelible mark. His passion for uplifting others continues to inspire young people and create lasting change in communities near and far.

Please Sign Our Petition To Show Your Support

A new approach to serving youth in Baltimore City. Baltimore residents and supporters, we need your help to save the lives of our city’s youth against the root causes of violence and promote positive development for young people. Sign the petition to help us.

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