Street to Be Renamed to Honor Late NFL Star and Proctor Grad Will Smith
The Utica Common Council voted to rename a Utica Street after Proctor grad and NFL Saints player, Will Smith. Smith was murdered in 2016.
Legislation passed by the Utica Common Council will rename Armory Drive 'Will Smith Memorial Way'. Signs reflecting the change bear Will Smith's name, with one two reflect Proctor's colors, where Smith wore the number 80, and another the black and gold of the New Orleans Saints, where Smith played professional football.
Smith, a defensive end who played for the Saints from 2004 to 2012 and helped the team win its only Super Bowl, was fatally shot in a road-rage incident in 2016. His wife, Racquel, was also shot in the incident. Smith was recently inducted into the New Orleans Saints 'Ring of Honor.'
Councilperson Samantha Colosimo-Testa, who proposed the legislation, says "It’s an honor to do a tribute to Will. He never forgot about where he came from and I want to make sure we never forget either."
Armory Drive, from Tilden Ave to Hilton Ave will be officially renamed to 'Will Smith Memorial Way' in a ceremony. The road is adjacent to the Proctor football stadium. There will also be a picture of Smith and the following words:
Will was a dedicated father, friend, and a true member of our community. He is a champion but most importantly a hero to us all, a hero who's legacy that will live on forever. A true Raider and beloved Saint.
Will Smith #91
"Where there's a will, there's a way"
Colosimo-Testa says the date of the ceremony has not been established yet.