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Greenville NFL star Smith gives back to community


The Greenville Standard


Za’Darius Smith, a Greenville native and standout defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, is giving back to his beloved hometown.

For four weeks, Smith is working with local restaurants to give away meals each week during the coronavirus pandemic.

This past Friday, Pizza Hut gave away 500 pizzas through their take-out service. It was a busy lunch time on the roadways near Pizza Hut as people waited to turn in and receive their pizza.

The Greenville Police Department assisted with traffic control but still there were some traffic issues.

According to Sharon Smith, who is Za’Darius’ mother and a Captain with Butler Counter Sheriff’s Office who works at the Butler County Correctional Facility, he wanted to give back the community.

Next week’s food giveaway is scheduled for McDonald’s. The following week is scheduled for Hardee’s. The fourth week, Sharon indicated they hope to give away $25 gift cards to Super Foods.

Za’Darius attended Greenville High School and was a 2009 graduate. He played basketball throughout high school and then decided to play football his senior year.

He then played football at East Mississippi Community College and after graduating signed to play football with the Kentucky Wildcats.

As an SEC standout, he was drafted in the 4th round as the 122nd pick by the Baltimore Ravens. He played with the Ravens from 2015-2018.

He signed with the Green Bay Packers in 2019 as an outside linebacker; he has been a defensive force that offences have to reckon with.

Sharon said, “We pray every day that God will keep him strong. We wanted to do something for the kids during these pandemic times.”




  1. Anonymous on April 30, 2020 at 9:22 am

    He graduated in 2011 not 2009

  2. Lameva Harris on May 1, 2020 at 2:47 am

    That was so sweet. I’m a graduate of the class of 2000 from Greenville High School.

  3. Margie Williams- Divinity c/o 1980 GHS Hornets on May 1, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you Za’Darius for giving back to our hometown. You the real MVP. Gonna root for your team and you when football season begins. THANKS AGAIN FOR LOOKING OUT, we appreciate you. Praying that God bless you even more.❤️

  4. Margie Williams- Divinity c/o 1980 GHS Hornets on May 1, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    THANKS AGAIN, you the REAL MVP.😀

  5. Velisa Coleman on May 1, 2020 at 10:51 pm


  6. TMB on May 3, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Why not support the blacks that have restaurant. Freddie’s BBQ is a black own restaurant

  7. Wanda Winslow on May 3, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Sharon, you have raised an amazing young man. I have known you for most of my life and you are still the same Sharon. Z, has your characteristics and values, he is so humble and grounded. You are a PHENOMENAL woman, and I will continue to lift you and both your sons in prayer. But, you have nothing to worry about, because you are covered by the Blood of Jesus and his grace is sufficient for you. I am so proud to call you a friend. Tell Z that I said thank you for what he is doing for our hometown.. Paying it forward.‼️

    Always Stay Encouraged 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼❤️❤️❤️

  8. Sherry Prevett on May 5, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    Kudos to Mr.Smith his actions speak volumes about his concern and love for his hometown.
    God bless him.

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