Marlon Smith to Fordham

Former Penn State basketball player Marlon Smith has landed at Fordham, according to the sports information department at the school.

“I got call yesterday, and they said to add him to the roster,” SID Joe DiBari said.

Smith, a guard who played a year and a half for the Nittany Lions before sustaining a stroke in practice last January that caused him to miss the rest of the 2004-05 season, must sit out the coming season with the Rams and will have two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2006-07.

Ed DeChellis' first recruit as head coach of the program, Smith finished second on the team in scoring as a rookie in 2003-04, averaging 13.4 ppg. He earned a spot on the Big Ten's All-Freshman team that year.

He averaged 11.8 ppg through 13 outings last year before the stroke hit. Doctors believed the stroke was caused by a small hole in his heart that led to a blood clot, which, in turn, traveled to the brain. Shortly after the season, Smith had a procedure to close the hole.

He enrolled for Penn State's first summer semester, and was playing pickup ball on campus and taking classes before abruptly announcing he was leaving the program. Smith could not be reached for comment on the decision, and the coaching staff, citing federal privacy laws, would not address the medical situation and whether that had anything to do with the transfer.

Fordham plays in the Atlantic 10 and is coached by Dereck Whittenburg. The Rams went 13-16 overall and 8-8 in the league last season. Fordham is located in Bronx, N.Y., Smith's hometown.

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